The pace of development on the electric motorcycles at the Isle of Man TT has been astonishing, with each year seeing more and more progress on the lap times from the top teams.
This year, Team Mugen once again is the paddock favorite, with expectations of a 120+ mph lap resting on their shoulders. With two riders capable of such a lap, John McGhinness and Bruce Anstey, a lot of pressure has been on the Mugen squad to continue to raise the bar.
While Mugen has been the paddock favorites, we’ve seen strong showings from the Saroléa bike from Beligum, and Victory’s entry from the USA. Saroléa is in the hunt for a 120 mph lap, while Victory’s goal sees to get past the 115 mph lap marker.
While many thought the podium was set before the TT Zero race was even away, competitors found out the hard way that there is a reason we lineup to go racing, because anything can happen.
First away from the start line was John McGuinness, the strong favorite to win the TT Zero race, and also tipped to be the first to break the 120 mph lap barrier for electric bikes. It would not be however, with McGuinness suffering a technical fault near the Ballaugh Bridge.
McGuinness would get his Mugen Shinden Go running again and finish the TT Zero with a 94.949 mph lap, though that result was well below expectations. This left the door wide open for his teammate, Bruce Anstey to take the checkered flag.
Putting in a 118.416 mph lap, Anstey took his first TT Zero race win (11th career TT win), and Mugen’s third-straight win at the Isle of Man TT. Anstey’s time was five seconds slower than his 2015 lap time, though he attributes that to wanting to bring the bike home in one piece, after seeing McGuinness’ retirement.
Finishing second was William Dunlop on the Victory Motorcycles entry. Dunlop posted a 115.844 mph lap, a proper step-up for the Victory team at the TT, and was the only other rider besides Anstey to crack the 100 mph mark this year.
This is because third-place finisher, Daley Mathison, just barely missed the mark with a 99.884 mph lap on the University of Nottingham race bike. The 2016 TT Zero race is Mathison’s first TT podium in his career.
Absent from the starting list was Saroléa, with the team having technical issues through-out the fortnight.
It should be noted that all the TT Zero entries wore the “C1” logo of MotoCzysz, a tribute to the life and work of Michael Czysz, who passed away last month.
Source: IOMTT; Photo: © 2016 Tony Goldsmith / www.tonygoldsmith.net – All Rights Reserved