TT Zero to have zero races in 2020/21

The TT Zero events at the Isle of Man TT races have been an interesting sidenote at the event.   The long 37.73 mile TT course poses great challenges for battery life and thus as improvements have been made over the years and performance levels increase, ultimately it is still a game of balance between battery conservation and outright performance. Despite technical advances a single lap race has still been the limit of endurance for the Zero bikes, in comparison to the six-lap Senior race for Superbikes. 

Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter – 2018

After a successful ten year programme there will be a moratorium on the TT Zero class participation in the TT Race schedule in both 2020 and 2021.

Introduced in 2010, the TT Zero race has premiered all-electric prototype and production machines on the TT Course, with significant milestone successes from both mainstream developers of motorcycles and University entrants.

Mugen Shinden Go TT Zero 2016 Isle of Man TT Races
Front quarter view of the 2016 iteration of the Mugen Shinden

Highlights including the first 100mph lap of the Mountain Course by a clean emissions motorcycle – Motoczysz – in 2012, the exceptional performances by the Japanese Mugen team raising the lap records over a number of years which now stands at over 121mph and the remarkable performance by Nottingham University in posting their own 120mph lap.

Riding the Mugen Shinden, McGuinness was always in the lead and with a stunning new lap record of 117.366mph, he came home 23.3s clear of team-mate Bruce Anstey. Rob Barber, on the Ohio State University Buckeye machine, took third.
Riding the Mugen Shinden, McGuinness was always in the lead and with a stunning new lap record of 117.366mph in 2014, he came home 23.3s clear of team-mate Bruce Anstey. Rob Barber, on the Ohio State University Buckeye machine, took third.

This year Michael Rutter clinched the race win with a new record lap from Bathams Mugen team-mate John McGuinness.

IOMTT Qualifying Sunday TT Zero Michael Rutter
Michael Rutter – TT Zero – 2019

Celebrating its 10th year this year, the TT Zero Race lap record has gone from an average speed of 96.82mph set by Mark Miller in the inaugural TT Zero Race, to Rutter’s new time of 121.909mph, just under a second inside his old record set last year.

Michael Rutter receives his winner's trophy from HRH Prince William
Michael Rutter receives his winner’s trophy from HRH Prince William in 2018

Over the ten year period many notable teams have participated in the event, although recent years have seen entries for this all-electric class reduce to the extent that the Department now needs to work with the industry to grow a modern zero emission class and encourage more teams, universities and manufacturers to participate

This will include looking at other technologies under development and to determine if these can be incorporated into the broader concept of zero emissions racing on the TT Course.

Rob Callister MHK – IOM Government

“As an island we remain committed to the principles and passion that continues to motivate everyone associated with the TT Zero class and the clean tech industry. Our intention is to have a moratorium on the event to allow the motorcycle industry as a whole to catch up on the leading edge developments that some manufacturers and individual race teams and universities have achieved to date.

“We remain incredibly proud of everything that has been achieved in clean emission racing at the TT and will work closely with the industry and with manufacturers without the pressure and focus of delivering a race format to build on the success to date.’This will include looking at other technologies under development and to determine if these can be incorporated into the broader concept of zero emissions racing on the TT Course.”

Bruce Anstey and Guy Martin flying the Mugden flag after their victory
Bruce Anstey and Guy Martin flying the Mugden flag after their victory in 2017