John McGuinness and Mugen deliver again in SES IOM TT Zero

John McGuinness broke his own SES TT Zero record in today’s Isle of Man TT Races with his teammate Bruce Anstey again following him home, as he did last year. Anstey was also inside McGuinnesses old lap record for the electric bike class.

Isle of Man SES TT Zero challenge 2015 - The top three, Lee Johnston, John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey. Credit Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press Intl.
Isle of Man SES TT Zero challenge 2015 – The top three, Lee Johnston, John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey. Credit Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press Intl.

John McGuinness was first away from the line but by Glen Helen Anstey had actually moved into the lead on timing, albeit with only a second separating the Mugen pair  who had already established a 17 second lead over third placed Lee Johnson with his Victory Parker Racing teammate Guy Martin in fourth a further nine seconds back.  Martin was a late replacement for William Dunlop who was injured earlier in the week during qualifying.

Lee Johnston rounds the Gooseneck on his way to third in the SES TT Zero Challenge trophy. Credit Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press Intl.
Lee Johnston rounds the Gooseneck on his way to third in the SES TT Zero Challenge trophy. Credit Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press Intl.

McGuinness had moved into the lead by the next timing point at Ballaugh Bridge with a lead of over two seconds from Anstey with the Team Mugen pair establishing a healthy lead at the front of the field.  Johnson and Martin continued their challenge for the final podium spot with the Northern Ireleand rider establishing a lead of over 10 seconds from Martin at Ballaugh.

John McGuinness pushes the Mugen entry to a 119.279mph lap in the 2015 SES TT Zero challenge. Credit Pacemaker Press Intl.
John McGuinness pushes the Mugen entry to a 119.279mph lap in the 2015 SES TT Zero challenge. Credit Pacemaker Press Intl.

Robert Wilson consolidated fifth place for Belgium’s team Sarolea Racing while James Cowton (Brunel University) and Michael Sweeney (University of Nottingham) were going head to head in sixth and seventh for the honour of finishing the first university.

At the front of the field McGuinness was being made to work for the race win by Anstey with the gap closing to less than three seconds but the Morecambe Missile held on to win with a new lap record of 119.279mph (18:58.743) from Anstey (118.857/19:02.785) with Lee Johnston taking third for Victory/Parker Racing with 111.620mph – 20:16.881.  Guy Martin (109.717/ 20:37.987), Robert Wilson (106.510/21:15.256) completed the top five with Michael Sweeney (73.156/30:56.695) taking the University honours for Nottingham.

Bruce Anstey, John McGuinness and Lee Johnston spray the champagne on the podium for the SES TT Zero Challenge trophy. Credit Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press Intl.
Bruce Anstey, John McGuinness and Lee Johnston spray the champagne on the podium for the SES TT Zero Challenge trophy. Credit Stephen Davison/Pacemaker Press Intl.
John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey with the whole Mugen Team. Credit Dave Kneale
John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey with the whole Mugen Team. Credit Dave Kneale

Lee Johnston “Yeah, awesome to be back on the podium again. Every time we go out, we’re getting faster. Think we had a little bit of battery left, so maybe could have went a bit quicker. Fair play to the Mugen boys, but at the end of the day they have been coming here for three years and in their first year they did nowhere near 110mph, so credit to the whole Victory team, it’s an absolutely awesome job. The bike’s so fun to ride because it’s so small, I really like riding it.”

Guy Martin, who stepped in to ride the bike on behalf of the injured William Dunlop, placed fourth, with a 109.717mph, just shy of the 110mph mark.

“It’s a proper fast bike,” he said. “The Victory boys judged it just right to use up all of the battery power as I came over the finish line. I’d need more time to properly get my head around it but I’m happy to have had the opportunity to ride it.”

For a first time at the TT, the team is thrilled that it has been so competitive. Victory Racing Team Manager, Brian Wismann, said: “I’m feeling very, very good. It was good day for Victory Racing on our first ever time at the TT. We accomplished what we set out to accomplish… got on to the podium, but we also got a 111mph average in our first ever TT Zero race. Speeds were good, the bikes were good and reliable, they looked great out there. I’m just very, very pleased with all the hard work the team’s put in and the work that the riders have done to get the bikes round here so quickly.”

Out of the 10 electric bike teams on the Isle of Man, seven of them entered the race. It is also the very first time that five teams have all achieved over 100mph laps under race conditions and is a strong indicator that electric racing technology is being taken seriously by many brands in anticipation of mass-produced consumer vehicles.

For Gary Gray, Director Motorcycle Product for Victory Motorcycles, the third and fourth place is reward for all the efforts the brand is putting into proving ‘American Performance’. He said: “I couldn’t be prouder of the team for putting a bike on the podium the first year out and for building the fastest American electric bike ever at the Isle of Man TT. I promised we would be competitive and beating nine of the 10 teams proves American performance.”

A podium finish has also excited Parker, the makers of the GVM electric motor that propelled the bikes. Parker’s US-based strategic account manager, Kevin Holloway said: “We are proud of the entire Victory Racing team for the third and fourth place finishes in the TT Zero. Everybody worked so hard and we exceeded our expectations by setting an American lap record today.”

Victory Motorcycles has recently been flexing their muscles in various forms, not only by entering the Isle of Man TT, but also by taking part in professional drag racing, running a stunt team and fielding an entry in the iconic Pikes Peak Hill Climb with a prototype custom race machine built by Victory Racing and Roland Sands Design dubbed Project 156.

IOM TT 2015 – TT Zero Challenge Race Results
  1. John McGuinness – Mugen – 119.279
  2. Bruce Anstey – Mugen – 118.857
  3. Lee Johnston – Victory 111.620
  4. Guy Martin – Victory – 109.717
  5. Robert Wilson – Sarolea – 106.510
  6. Michael Sweeney – University of Nottingham – 73.156
Bruce Anstey rounds the Gooseneck on his way to second in the SES TT Zero Challenge trophy. Credit Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press Intl.
Bruce Anstey rounds the Gooseneck on his way to second in the SES TT Zero Challenge trophy. Credit Dave Kneen/Pacemaker Press Intl.
Lee Johnston took third place for Victory Motorcycles on their debut in the Isle of Man SES TT Zero challenge. Credit Pacemaker Press Intl.
Lee Johnston took third place for Victory Motorcycles on their debut in the Isle of Man SES TT Zero challenge. Credit Pacemaker Press Intl.
SES TT Zero Challenge 2015 Results
SES TT Zero Challenge 2015 Results