Despite a supplier problem delaying the deliveries of its Zero S and a recent recall of its Zero X and MX, Zero Motorcycles has managed to make good in one of the arenas that counts for a lot with vehicle manufacturers: the race track. The French Motorcycle Federation (FFM) just held its annual motocross event at Gironville, France, and for the first time included rankings for electric machines. It had looked like only riders astride Quantya bikes would be racing but two weeks before flags were dropped, Zero Motorcycles' European importer caught wind of the competition and managed to put together a team featuring Thomas Aubrey aboard a Zero MX. You may recall that the first meet up between the two brands didn't go so well for the Santa Cruz company. This rematch would certainly even the score.

The electrics ran amongst a field of about 40 bikes, mostly 250 and 450cc's, in two qualifiers and two races with the MX easily ranking ahead of the Quantya Tracks in the electric category with Julien Bréant and Adrien Goguet taking 2nd and 3rd respectively. In the first heat, none of the battery-powered machines finished due to a very short period between warm-up and the start that left little time to charge up their packs.

As the day wore on though, results steadily improved and the electrics were moved up to class "D" from "E". In the second heat Aubrey finished in top half of the field in 13th place, but as his position vis-a-vis his electric competitors became more clear, he seemed to become more relaxed and really hit his stride. The first of the final races saw him take 5th place and starting to get the attention of the thousand or so spectators. When the team had arrived, the electric "novelty" was on the receiving end of friendly jokes but as it moved up in the standings, the kidding was put aside.

The last race was the clincher. Thomas got a great start, moving from 13th position to 5th by the first turn on the "Prairie" style course. Moments later, there were only two raucous gassers ahead and when the checkered flag finally dropped, it was Aubrey on the Zero MX that felt the flush of victory. The result brought his ranking for the day up to 3rd in D class but more than that, it opened a lot of eyes to what may lie ahead. Next year's motocross racing could become very interesting as other makers, such as KTM, start to field electric entries of their own. We're looking forward to it.

[Source: / FFM via Plugbike]

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