After a day-long weather delay, eight all-electric motorcycles took to the starting grid to compete in the Isle of Man TT Zero yesterday. The game was much the same as last year when TTXGP began what will likely be a longstanding annual affair – one 37.73-mile lap around the Snaefell Mountain Course, no gas.
For the American MotoCzysz team that had put in an impressive performance in practice, it was time to put up or shut up. They damn well put up. Rider Mark Miller didn't allow himself to be baited into a scrap andstuck to a game plan that called for a steady twisting of the throttle. In the end, he finished in the top spot with a time that was a massive two minutes and 51 seconds quicker than last year's winner. The E1pc, which easily looks as good parked as it does in a 140-mile-per-hour blur, averaged 96.820 mph around the famed circuit, just missing a £10,000 ($14,700 USD) prize had it broken the century mark. Miller shrugged off that shortfall with an easygoing, "It's all good, dude" in the post-race interview.
Last year's winner, Rob Barber, who again crouched in the saddle for Agni Racing, also beat his time from last year. The fierce competitor was astride a newly constructed Agni Z1, looking for all the world like a throwback to the '40s with a dustbin fairing mounted in place of a modern cowl. Although happy with the gains achieved by the aerodynamic package, "The Bullet" was obviously frustrated with the result, convinced he could have somehow gotten the best of the MotoCyzsz had there only been a bit more energy in the battery pack. As it was, he just managed to cross the finish line after employing a strategy that had him pushing hard from the get go.
After a long battle with another Agni Z1 piloted by Jenny Tinmouth – who, by the way, had not a mile of seat time before the green flag dropped – third place on the podium was claimed by James McBride on a converted Ducati for Ramsey-based ManTTX Racing. Check out the gallery of the winner below and hit the jump for the official TT Zero report and post-race video interviews as well as a bit of bonus footage of the bikes blasting by.
[Source: TT Zero | Images: AmadeusPhotography.com]
MotoCzysz takes the honours in electric TT Zero race at the 2010 TT
MotoCzysz, from Portland, Oregon, narrowly missed out on recording the first 100mph lap by an electric bike at the Isle of Man TT Races.
Their E1PC machine, ridden by Californian Mark Miller, lapped the iconic mountain course in a time of 23 minutes 22.89 seconds to take the honours in the TT Zero race.
They narrowly missed out on a £10,000 prize that was put up by the Isle of Man Government for the first team to record a 100mph lap.
Defending champions Agni Z1/Agni Racing took an early lead in the race at the first timing checkpoint – Glen Helen with an average speed of 95.212mph. However, by the time the teams reached Ballaugh, MotoCzysz had edged in front, recording 98.973 with Agni Z1 only 5 seconds behind. Agni's second bike (Agni Z2) ridden by Jenny Tinmouth was in third with the local effort, ManTTx and James McBride less than a second behind her in fourth. Chris Palmer (Sert), Shaun Gilbert (Special Zero Emissions), Mark Buckley (Ecolve) and George Spence (Kingston University) made up the rest of the field.
Sulby Speed trap saw three machines clocking over 100mph with MotoCzysz the fastest at 135mph. Manx team ManTTx were the second fastest with 107.200 and Agni's Z1 from Agni Racing third with 104.200.
MotoCyzsz stepped up the pace and by Ramsey had recorded an overall average of 103.978. Rob Barber and Team Agni were also over the 100mph mark with 100.335 with James McBride on ManTTx splitting the Agni bikes with Jenny Tinmouth on Agni's Z2 bike in fourth place.
MotoCzysz had clearly been pacing themselves and by Cronk Ny Mona had extended their lead to over a minute and were still tantalisingly close to the 100mph lap at 99.513.
However the iconic mark was to remain intact and the team crossed the line at Glencrutchery road in 23.22.89 (96.820mph). Rob Barber and Agni Z1 were second, bettering last year's winning time with 25.21 (89.290mph) and local team ManTTx and James McBride third with 25.39.50 (88.653mph).