The era of electric motorcycle racing which began at the Isle of Man in June last year has grown into a world series road race for 2010. On May 16th, history was made as TTXGP North America Round 1 took place at the Infineon Raceway in California. It was the first-ever electric superbike race to take place in that continent.
The race was dominated by a battle for first place between Shawn Higbee, riding the ZeroAgni bike, and Michael Barnes, riding for Lightning Motorcycles. Higbee’s first place win was assured when Barnes had to stop and cycle his bike through a reboot, although Barnes did still manage to capture second. Michael Hannas of ElectricRacebikes.com took third.
"I think this could turn into something big. It's going to introduce a whole new industry to motorcycling," Higbee said. "The engineers at Zero Motorcycles and Agni Motors are a whole new breed. I'm surprised at how close we are to gas bikes already. The lack of vibration is a new experience and the bike is very agile, you just glide along."
The two lead riders maintained a pace that was 18 seconds per lap off that set by conventional bikes at AMA Superbike events - not bad, for the first time. The fastest recorded speed at the event was 59.9 mph, or 96.4 kmh. Two of the ten competing bikes did not finish, due to mechanical failure.
Round 2 is scheduled for June 4th at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, with the worldwide grand final taking place this October in Albacete, Spain.
A full listing of results from Round 1 can be found at the TTXGP site.
Images: Zero Motorcycles.