Saturday, May 5, 2012

Saturday morning practice round results at the 2012 TTXGP at Infineon

This morning saw a practice round in the 2012 TTXGP electric motorcycle race at Infineon.  Participating were two bikes from Lightning Motorcycles, and the four bikes from Zero Motorcycles.  The Lightning Motorcycles bikes were nearly knocked out yesterday after a failure in the chain tensioner caused Michael Barnes' bike to stop cold during yesterday's practice round.  Team Icon Brammo was not in the race due to yesterday's accident that badly damaged the Empulse RR and sent rider Steve Atlas to the hospital.

Today the bikes all looked excellent, and it was as if there were two races occurring at the same time.  This is to be expected because the four Zero bikes are completely outgunned by the Lightning bikes.

In race#1 we had the two Lightning bikes going flat out.  One of the riders (probably Michael Barnes) was hitting the throttle harder than the other, as I saw it popping wheelies in the front straight, and catching air several times coming over a little rise in the S curves.  The results sheet does not show timing for Michael Barnes (transponder was probably not responding).  Tim Hunt riding Lightning #89 turned in a best lap time of 1:58.358, which is pretty disappointing for a bike this powerful, but he is new to the Lightning Team.

In race#2 was the four Zero Motorcycles bikes.  These are minimally modified Zero S's racing as an experiment in what might be a "spec class" for the TTXGP.  This weekend they are racing for an award named eSuperStock.  Throughout the practice round the Zero bikes were divided in two pairs competing with each other, at largely the same speed and finishing within 5 seconds of each other.  Martin Szwarc riding #5 came in 2nd, best lap time 2:13.777; Jason Lauritzen #7 came in 3rd, best lap time 2:14.385; Kenyon Kluge #619, came in 4th, best lap time 2:15.572; Jennifer Lauritzen #96 came in 5th, best lap time 2:19.144.

Time after time throughout the race one of the Lightning bikes would pass one or more of the Zero bikes as if they were standing still.  The Zero S is geared with a maximum speed of 88 miles/hr while last years Lightning bike set the electric motorcycle land speed record of 215 miles/hr.  It is completely unsurprising that Zero bikes are being passed so commandingly by Lightning's bikes.

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