Five seconds with room for improvement, PBR Rocket team looking forward to 2023

Utterly unique, the PBR Rocket put a major full stop on the end of the 2022 season running a stellar 5.932/230.08 at the UK National Finals to become the fifth FIM-E Top Fuel Bike into the five second bracket and rider Al Smith at number nine on the combined FIM-E Top Fuel/Super Twin Top Fuel Bike quick list. Heading into 2023 and team owner Phil Baimbridge is looking to build on this ticket (“blemishes” on the 5.93 run suggest it could get into the 5.8s).   

“The Rocket is pretty much the same as last year. The main change introduced is redesigned inlet manifold internals in an attempt to improve air and fuel distribution. Initial results are encouraging, but progress has been hindered by stupid issues”.

These issues including some minor leaking seals in the air side of the hybrid clutch, oil pressure ‘fun and games’ and fixable development gremlins with the new rotor arms. Don’t forget that Baimbridge really is ‘out there’ with this blown triple setup all pulled together as a ‘relaxing retirement’ project and is already setting very impressive numbers negotiating the fine line between horsepower, clutch and available track traction, and Phil is always quick to acknowledge the support and hard work of the PBR team of Al & Joo Smith, Andy Kirk and Neill Curtis. “At the moment we are not planning any overseas events” commented Phil, but being in the top three current runners on the European stage, the Rocket will have the potential to upstage and upset the Top Fuel Bike championship title chasers at Santa Pod’s Main Event and Euro Finals events that bracket the FIM-E season.

Text and photos: Ivan Sansom & Rose Hughes

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