The technology behind electric motorcycles is improving at an extremely rapid pace. Want proof? Last month Steve Rapp set a new lap record at Laguna Seca. Yesterday, Rapp and Mission Motors beat that time by 10 seconds.
The TTXGP /FIM e-Power series will line up again today at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for their first qualifying session of the weekend, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a few more seconds shaved off of the top of the timesheets.
"Its cool to be part of something new and a team that is really enthusiastic about developing a bike for it," Rapp said. "For me it makes it more exciting to ride, that and the fact its so different. Even down to the strategy used for electric racing verses the gas teams; conserve power rather than riding flat out, different lines to keep the momentum up at the same time the bike feels so different to ride.
"The bike is heavy when compared to what I am used to but I am not sure if it feels different because of the weight or the electric motor characteristics; but I do know I love it and am really excited about the future when the technology will be developed that reduced the weight to 350lbs or the batteries to go on full power for an hour."
Rapp was able to set the quickest lap around the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit, but Michael Barnes was able to clock the top speed. Barnes was able to bring his Lightning Motors Motorcycle up to 130 mph down the stretch at Laguna Seca.
Michael Czysz and Steve Atlas were also able to post impressive times during the practice session.
"I'm stoked to be back at Laguna after racing Superbikes here last year," Atlas, who is riding a Brammo a motorcycle, said. "It's been fun racing with the Brammo team on electric bikes in TTXGP and it's cool to see the bike continue to develop and get faster and faster. This is a big event in the world of electric motorcycle racing and all the factory teams are out here competing for top honors. Our bike may be a little down on power compared to the others, but we're still feeling confident we can challenge for a win here!"
Here are some more quotes from the TTXGP / FIM e-Power riders:
Alessandro Branetti #48 (CRP)
"I am very excited to be here as this is my first time at the Laguna Seca circuit. The team had a walk around the track yesterday and I just thought wow, I cant wait to go out there n my bike. I am also meeting all my old friends from Moto GP so I am very happy to be here.
"The bike is not as powerful on paper as some of the other competitors but I will do my best to go out and get valuable technical data to help improve performance and learn about how to improve the technology. "
Micheal Czysz #11 (Moto Czysz)
"Honestly I am looking at the practise like any other; I have my game plan so I am going to execute the plan and gather my data and adjust my setting for race day. Its MotoGP; so its just fun!!"
Marcelino Manzao #7 (LGN)
"This experience for our team is very important because racing in Laguna is very special; more special for us as it is the first time we are here with an electric bike. Our bike is perfect for this circuit and our expectations are that that today and tomorrow will be very good work! We go into the race with high hopes and much optimism."
Kenyon Kludge #96 (Zero Motorcyles)
"Really excited to be here are Laguna Seca running with the MotoGp teams. I think we are going to surprise a few people this weekend and see electric bikes perform at speed comparable with the gas bikes. Zero motocycles racing is very excited to debut our new bike; totally rebuilt from last year."