Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Jan 10, 2011

Chip Yates Finally Gets His Electric Superbike On The Grid And Finishes On The WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock And Heavyweight Twins Superbike Podiums At Auto Club Speedway

Chip Yates (89) riding his electric Superbike in a WERA Sportsman race at Auto Club Speedway.

· Chip Yates grabs two podium spots on the way to making history at Auto Club Speedway in California

· SWIGZ electric superbike matches gasoline-powered pace achieving a fastest lap of the race along with a 158mph top speed

· Promise to match gasoline lap times delivered in thrilling fashion

Chip Yates and his SWIGZ Racing team have achieved the seemingly impossible, with two podium finishes for their electric superbike on its global racing debut, competing against a competitive field of highly-developed gasoline-powered race machines.

Despite only six laps of pre-race testing from Saturday's practice session and a cold and overcast day, the privately owned and developed machine exceeded all expectations in its two race outings during Sunday racing action. Yates achieved an astonishing third place in the premier WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike race having started on the third row of the grid, and unbelievably went one better in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock race to finish second and post the fastest lap of the race at a 1:39.792. The all-electric machine was recorded at 158 mph on the straight and appeared visibly quicker to spectators, compared to even the 1,000cc Japanese superbikes from the other top WERA superbike classes.

Chip Yates said: "This was an absolutely epic race weekend for our team; we had to overcome some technical difficulties on Saturday but we fixed everything and came back Sunday to score two podiums, a huge top speed, and post competitive gasoline bike lap times with no further technical issues to slow us down. What a humbling experience for our small team to develop and build a superbike that can beat gasoline bikes from the top manufacturers on their own terms I was nearly brought to tears as I crossed the finish line both times!"

Many within the sport have viewed the success of Yates and the SWIGZ team with complete astonishment. Yates continues: "We are a small and entirely self-funded team, and together with a small group of very loyal sponsors, are solely responsible for the development, patenting and building of this superbike."

The bike has been developed with all new technology and software, in less than one year, and after extensive simulation testing, worked right out of the box from day one to beat bikes made by the world's best known Italian and Japanese manufacturers.

Yates and his skunk works team of key engineers Ben Ingram and Robert Ussery have quickly developed an industry-leading understanding of electric powertrain technology and development, and the motorcycle is an absolute showcase of the team's specialist capabilities in extreme electric vehicle consulting as most of it was built in-house including the advanced lithium-ion polymer battery packs. The lap times achieved on the bikes first competitive outing validate the team's assertion that its bike is vastly superior in technology and performance to any other electric bike and can demonstrably take the fight to conventional gasoline machines.

"We have to thank WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and Evelyne Clarke for their graciousness and vision in welcoming our electric superbike to their nationwide gasoline race series", said Yates. "Out of courtesy to the regular WERA racers, we forfeited the championship points we accumulated today so as not to interfere with the gasoline bike season results and a lot of those racers visited our pits to voice their support of our program!"

Ride with Chip at speeds of 158 mph - Click here for the extreme on-board video:
Top 5 This Week