While the REFUEL event a few weeks ago was Mission Motors’ true first public race with the Mission R, the San Francisco company is on a mission (oh sweet jesus) to prove a point at Laguna Seca this weekend, after previously being out of the electric racing gig for the past year. Undoubtedly by now you’ve seen photos of the Mission R electric superbike, and while it certainly looks fast standing still, the question had also been raised if it’s only good for standing around and looking pretty.
Taking those talking points to heart, Steve Rapp silenced those critics today, as the Mission Motors rider smashed the standing “best lap” time from last year’s e-Power Championship race at Laguna Seca, which was set by competitor MotoCzysz. Posting a 1’33.714 lap time, Rapp was nearly 11 seconds quicker than last year’s pace, and did so at will on the Mission R, posting half of his laps below the 1’34 mark (his slowest hot lap was a 1’36).
To put that pace into perspective, Rapp would have been fifth on the grid had he been lapping in AMA Supersport’s Free Practice (which occurred early in the day, and thus on a cold track), and thirteenth in AMA Supersport’s Qualifying Practice 1 (which was later in the day, and in similar conditions as the e-Power/TTXGP session). Boom goes the dynamite.
There’s still a couple qualifiers to those time comparisons, namely that the electrics will have an eight lap race on Sunday, while Supersport will go the distance with eighteen laps. However, the point is still clear that for at least some of the e-Power/TTXGP grid, the sport is improving. Perhaps more encouraging is the highly credibly rumor that Rapp brought the Mission R back-in with ample charge left in his battery packs, which could mean an even faster pace for tomorrow. We expect to see similar improvements from a number of other teams as well, as clearly there was a bit of shaking-out going on during the session. What will be real interesting to see is if the Mission crew can string together a set of laps at AMA Superport’s race pace tomorrow, now that would be impressive.
Free Practice Results from e-Power/TTXGP at Laguna Seca:
|1||17||Steve Rapp||Mission R||Mission Motors||1’33.714|
|2||11||Michael Czysz||MotoCzysz E1pc||MotoCzysz||1’40.968|
|3||80||Michael Barnes||Lightning||Lightning Motorcycles||1’41.244|
|4||49||Matthias Himmelmann||Münch TTE||Münch Racing Team||1’43.149|
|5||58||Steve Atlas||Brammo Empulse||Brammo Racing||1’44.521|
|6||48||Alessandro Brannetti||eCRP 1.4||CRP Racing||1’47.267|
|7||37||Thad Wolff||Moto Electra||Moto Electra||1’49.196|
|8||93||Shelina Moreda||eCRP 1.4||CRP Racing||2’00.500|
|9||18||Ely Schless||Proto Moto||Pro Moto Racing||2’01.096|
|10||7||Marcellino Manzano||LGN Racing||LGN Racing Team||2’06.221|
|11||96||Kenyon Kluge||Zero S||K Squared Racing||2’08.833|
Source: FIM; Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved