History was made on Monday when Mugen’s rider, John McGuinness, had the fastest lap time ever in TT ZERO electric motorcycle racing, 115.598 miles/hr. McGuinness and Mugen teammate, Bruce Anstey, both shattered the previous record, of 112.355 miles/hr set by Anstey on Saturday, in which he broke McGuinness’s record lap speed from Friday of 111.904 miles/hr.
Both McGuinness and Anstey rode fast through the whole race. They were clocked, at the Sulby Speed Trap, at speeds nearing 160 miles/hr, a little slower than their pace on Friday indicating the riders may have been conserving energy to have a faster overall lap speed. By the Ramsey Hairpin McGuinness’s lap speed was 127.344 miles/hr, with Anstey not far behind at 125.074. Climbing the mountain – the TT ZERO is a 38 mile loop around the Isle of Man, and climbs a 1,500 foot mountain at the mid-point – didn’t slow the two as much as on previous days. By the Bungalow (on top of the mountain) their lap speed had slowed to 123.08 miles/hr, and 121.271 miles/hr, respectively. At Cronk-ny-Mona the lap speed had slowed further, to 119.174 miles/hr and 117.117 miles/hr, respectively.
Coming in 3rd was Sarolea’s Robert Wilson, with a 91.467 miles/hr lap speed. Would-be challenger for 3rd, the Buckeye Current team, missed today’s qualifying race. They posted an explanation Facebook, saying that they were performing a field redesign of the battery pack, and the bike wasn’t ready yet, and they would be ready on Wednesday to give Rob Barber full power.
In 4th place was VercarMoto’s Mark Miller, with a 86.385 miles/hr lap speed. In 5th place was George Spence on the Kingston Univ ION Horse, with a 81.287 miles/hr lap speed. And rounding out the pack was ManTTX’s Timothee Monot, with a 73.228 miles/hr lap speed. Monot replaced ManTTX’s usual rider, Dave Moffit, after Moffit was injured in previous racing action.
The big news in this is the rapid advances being made by the electric motorcycle racing field. Last year’s record was 109 miles/hr, set by MotoCzysz’s Michael Rutter, with Mugen’s John McGuinness not far behind. That record is now a distant memory, with the top lap speed jumping by over 6 miles/hr in one year.
The implications of this are clear: Electric motorcycles are coming up to speed quickly. It won’t be too many years before they’ll hold the outright lap speed record. Michael Dunlop set a new lap record on gas bikes the other day – 132 miles/hr. There was a 6+ mile/hr jump in the TT ZERO from 2013 to 2014, and the previous years all saw 5+ miles/hr jumps per year. That means, in 2016 or 2017 we’ll be writing about the TT ZERO guys holding the lap speed record outright?
At the 2013 running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the outright winner was Lightning Motorcycles. With an electric motorcycle. They beat the fastest gas bikes, 1200cc Ducati’s and the like, by over 20 seconds.