Victory Racing TT Zero Practice Report
The third and final practice wrapped up Tuesday evening for the sixth annual TT Zero – an all-electric motorcycle race that replaced the TTXGP in 2010.
This year’s SES TT Zero – set for Wednesday – will feature nine entries, including two from Victory Racing/Parker Racing. And both entries did well, one averaging nearly 111mph.
Piloting the first-ever Victory motorcycles at the Isle of Man TT are fan favorite Guy Martin and Lee Johnston.
Martin wasn’t originally slated to pilot the Victory electric prototype that’s powered by Brammo battery modules and supported by Parker Racing (the makers of the electric motor); his Tyco BMW teammate William Dunlop was supposed to ride the Victory eBike. But Dunlop was sidelined after breaking a rib and sustaining other bruises following a crash during practice Tuesday afternoon for the RL360 Superstock TT. Martin was quickly signed on as the substitute.
During Tuesday’s final practice for the SES TT Zero, Martin averaged 108.674mph around the 37.73-mile Mountain Course. This was only Martin’s second time on an electric bike at the TT, which shows the 33-year-old Brit’s motorcycling talent.
But Johnston was the quicker one, piloting the Victory Racing prototype to a 110.97mph lap. Johnston also reached a top speed of 144.9mph at Sulby.
“It feels good yeah, I’m still just getting used to the bike, feeling a bit more flowing and trying to think about saving the power rather than rolling it on and off. Yeah it feels really good,” Johnston says.
Martin also responded: “Interesting, interesting… yeah, it’s just…it’s just getting your head round what it’s doing. Just the momentum I think…just keeping the momentum up, don’t waste energy by braking late, or by braking at all, don’t even look at the brake lever, just roll off and let the regeneration do the work.”
Regeneration of the battery modules takes place when the riders roll the throttle off. In essence, more electricity in put back into the cells that can be used by the bike later on in the lap, Victory says.
Both Johnston and Guy have realized they can post faster lap times by consciously using less brake and allowing the Parker GVM electric motor to “engine brake” to slow down. At the same time, energy is regenerated back in the Brammo battery modules, Victory says.
Gary Gray, Director Motorcycle Product for Victory Motorcycles says “We came to the Isle of Man TT to prove ‘American Performance’ and we did that today by posting the two fastest qualifying laps of the day. Lee Johnston rode the fastest lap time ever for an American electric bike at the TT of 110mph and Guy Martin ran the second fastest time of the day at 108mph. We are extremely proud of American ingenuity and our Brammo Power and Parker Racing partners.”
Parker’s US-based strategic account manager, Kevin Holloway is with the team on the Isle of Man and encouraged by the new-found performance of the Parker GVM electric motor installed in the bike.
“Parker is very pleased with the progress of the Victory Racing team and Lee Johnston’s lap speed of 110.97mph has achieved one of our goals. Both riders are improving with each lap. The Victory team is very dedicated and professional and Parker is proud to be associated with such a fantastic group,” Holloway says.
For Brian Wismann, Team Manager, going beyond the 110mph mark was the huge boost for the team ahead of Wednesday’s electric TT: “We set a goal and we achieved that goal, so that’s what we’re here to do, and to move the performance on, practice after practice.
“Right now, the smart move would be to play it safe and finish the race given that we reached our goal of 110mph, but hey we’re racers, so we’ll probably take a look at the data from today and see if we can go faster still tomorrow.”
The SES TT Zero race is scheduled for 10:45am local time (GMT) on Wednesday, June 10.