The eGrandPrix TTXGP and FIM ePower electric motorcycle racing series have, once again, held a joint round at California's fabulous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in front of the huge crowds assembled for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The result? A commanding win for Michael Barnes aboard the solar-powered Barracuda Lightning bike.

Lightning Motorcycles missed the last TTXGP race in Portland, OR after participating in the TT Zero on the Isle of Man. Its triumphant return was made more striking when it appeared wrapped in the colors of its new sponsor, Barracuda Networks, and the announcement that it would be bringing its own solar array to provide power for the team's two machines.

In qualifying, Barnes came within a couple seconds of the lap record set last year by Steve Rapp. Then, starting from pole position, he continued his dominance, holding the lead through the entire nine laps. Only Team Icon Brammo's Steve Atlas could even get close, finishing just under three seconds behind him on the Empulse RR. Also aboard a Brammo, Eric Bostrom landed on the low step of the podium after crossing the finish line 12.8 seconds behind Barnes.

Although his fourth place result was, no doubt, less than he'd hoped for, Münch Racing's Matthias Himmelmann seemed his usual jovial self (at least, judging by the photos on the team's Facebook page). While his teammate Katja Poensgen rode the same machine that's taken her to the top of the ePower individual standings, he was piloting the latest evolution of the German brand's TTE racer, complete with a Wittenstein motor and new battery. If the team returns Stateside for the World Championship in Daytona, we expect this bike to present a more formidable challenge after the team has a bit more time to bring it up to its potential.

While we were somewhat disappointed Team Segway MotoCzysz didn't show up with its latest TT Zero-winning machine, we were heartened by the appearance of the Virginia Tech Bolt in the TTX75 class. Competing in its second TTXGP race this season, the university team has worked hard to put this bike together and gone to great lengths (literally!), driving across the country to do battle. The experience has, apparently, inspired them to reach for greater heights and we expect to see them contend in the top class with a new bike in 2013.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 6 Comments
      karlInSanDiego
      • 3 Years Ago
      More details and quotes here: http://www.egrandprix.com/news.php?id=295 "I was looking at the top speeds during the race and did i see 144 MPH hour..." "140 mph was hit in qualifying which is faster than any 600's out here. The bike does feel more like a 1000 as far as the torque is concerned...."
        goodoldgorr
        • 3 Years Ago
        @karlInSanDiego
        Even if the torque was double of the torque of a 1000 cc bike, that would lead to nowhere as these bikes cannot compete in a race even in the 600 cc class. These are just internet fad and will remain so as no real racers wants to seriously race this in a real paying event and there is absoulutly not a single major improvement on the horizon for them and they need approx a 30x theoritical battery improvment to consider racing this and going on the roads for a trip. I know a real biker that drived from toronto canada up to newfoundland back and forth in 3 weeks with a gasoline harley and if he attended the same with a battery bike then he will be still there figuring out if his story will make in on the internet. Don't confuse the confort of a luxury chair in front of a computer screen and internet fads. I never saw any battery bikes on the roads and i saw a million gasoline bikes over the years.
          PR
          • 3 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          The bike that got 2nd place in this race ran with the 600cc gassers in practice laps at their last race and was able to pass of all but one of the gassers. Now they certainly weren't at full race pace, but it is an enlightening perspective. That team said they had enough juice in their battery to compete in a full gasser race. EV race bikes are definitely pushing quickly towards parity with 600cc gassers at standard AMA gas bike race distances. EV race bikes have actually been advancing at a much faster pace than gas bikes advanced. For example, EV's broke The Ton at the Isle of Mann in just a fraction of the number of years that it took gas bikes to break the ton. Companies like Zero have put out new street bikes with substantial improvements every single year since they started, much faster than gas bikes advanced. Anyone who don't know who seasoned AMA pro racers like Eric Bostrom (E-Boz of Boz Bro's fame), Steve Atlas (Steve-o), and Michael Barnes are, probably isn't the best person to talk smack about motorcycle racing.
          Dave D
          • 3 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Gorr, you do know that most of these MotoGP events are 20-25 lap sprint races right? A 1.5x improvement in battery tech will allow the eBikes to compete pretty much head to head and they are getting their quickly.
          JP
          • 3 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Gorr is still an idiot.
          Chris M
          • 3 Years Ago
          @goodoldgorr
          Gorr is just grouchy because H2 fuel cell bikes aren't going anywhere, they're certainly not in any kind of racing. It's been years since we've seen anything on H2 fuel cell bikes. Yes, he's an idiot, but he's highly entertaining. ABG just wouldn't be the same without him.
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