Jul 29, 2012
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by David Swarts
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FIM e-Power International/TTXGP
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
July 29, 2012
1. Michael BARNES, USA (LIGHTNING), 9 laps, 14:32.060
2. Steve ATLAS, USA (EMPULSE RR), -2.903 seconds
3. Eric BOSTROM, USA (EMPULSE RR), -12.798
4. Matthias HIMMELMANN, Germany (MÃœNCH TTE), -16.325
5. Tom MONTANO, USA (LIGHTNING), -60.982
6. Katja POENSGEN, Germany (MÃœNCH TTE), -1 lap
7. Robert HANCOCK, USA (HONDA CBRE), -1 lap
8. Kenyon KLUGE, USA (ZERO), -1 lap
9. Ted RICH, USA (ZERO), -1 lap
10. Jeremiah JOHNSON, USA (BE.EV.COM - LELI), -2 laps
11. Ely SCHLESS, USA (HONDA RSE), -2 laps, DNF
More, from a press release issued by FIM:
Lightning strikes at the Californian round of the e-Power/TTX race
Immediately from the start of the 9 lap race, Michael Barnes took the lead closely followed by Team Icon Brammo riders Steve Atlas and Eric Bostrom with Matthias Himmelmann leading Tom Montano at the end of the first lap and set the scene of the remainder of the race.
Racing for the first time on this mythical circuit, Katja Poensgen achieved a remarkable result and finished in sixth position. She keeps the lead of the FIM e-Power International Championship with 55 points ahead of her team mate Matthias Himmelmann (38) and Chris Amendt (36) who did not participate.
Robert Hancock, Ely Schless and the three Zero riders, Kenyon Kluge, Ted Rich and Jeremiah Johnson followed on their machines fitted with less powerful batteries. Nevertheless they raced each other closely and with exception of Ely, they managed to cross the finish line with very constant lap times, further proof that their batteries still had plenty of energy left over at the end of this 32km long race.
During the press conference the riders said:
1 - Michael Barnes, USA (Barracuda/Lightning) 14'32.060
Compared to last year the race speeds closer to the practice times?
"We were not about to lose this one, we have worked hard on the Barracuda Lightning l bike to hold enough energy for the whole race, I can't thank my guys enough for all the development work they have done on the bike. My team has worked very hard to give me a great bike this year and the support we have gotten from Barracuda Networks has really helped. From 2 years ago we have improved 12 seconds 4 second quicker than last year. That speaks for its self. Richard Hatfield has put in his heart and soul and I can't thank him enough hopefully it will pay off for all of us soon."
I was looking at the top speeds during the race and 144 MPH hour...140 mph was hit in qualifying which is faster than any 600's out here. The bike does feel more like a 1000 as far as the torque is concerned....the sky's the limit with electric power, we will eclipse something soon. I don't when or how but we are going to make our mark with the electric industry that's for sure.
What's the next step racing wise?
"A bit more parity with more motorcycles so we can have a better show. This wasn't as much of a runaway as is has been in the past. I also manage my power a bit better; it's a real temptation; but to just be on the throttle and go as fast as you can all the time is not a winning strategy. We are hoping with advances in battery technology, we will achieve the next step, lighter packs that hold more energy so before long we will be in the super bike distance races..."
2. Steve Atlas, USA (Team Icon Brammo) 14'34.963
Compared to qualifying times you were putting some really fast times in the actual race?
"Yeah, I only got to one lap in qualifying due to 15 cent resistor part in the bike not working. And I only did 3 laps in the first practice so the race was all new for me as I didn't get much track time before hand. for first few laps, I stuck behind Eric as though he is on the same bike I am on so I should be able to do what he can do but unfortunately he had some trouble and I just feel in the groove and I was surprised by how quick we were going but my team Icon Brammo did a great job and worked really hard to prep two bikes for this weekend with the bike a huge improvement over last year. Probably 7 or 8 seconds faster than last year. It was fun out there trying to keep Barney in sight. It was cool to not have a huge runaway as there was in the past and it is really cool to have a new team mate in Eric and I am excited for the rest of the year. Once the battery technology catches up we will give the gas bikes a run for their money.
3 - Eric Bostrom, USA (Team Icon Brammo) 14'44.858
You've ridden any bikes, in many different classes, and here you are in an e-Power race. It is an interesting concept. What do you have to say about it?
"I only rode the bike a week ago and I said to the team if I don't like it I am out. But just pulling out of the pits and coming out of the race track, it put a big smile on my face and surpassed all my expectations; I am still coming up to speed on how to ride the bike and it may have caught me out a little bit. With Barney setting a blistering pace it was cool to see the other Brammo up there and my team mate Steve pushing me to go faster. The biggest disappointment for me was not being able to keep Barney honest and push him to the end.
The feel is the similar to a normal motorcycle. We have teething problems with a new motorcycle that's all it is. I am sure if asked somebody like Kenny Roberts then he would say the same thing about a gas bike that is at this stage of development.
Do you miss the noise? It must be very strange for you to ride without the noise?
It is strange, but you feel like more than ever that you are in your own little world, the sensation of not having engine rpm to gage what you should be doing so there is a feeling of 'oh man they have taken away some of sensations' but on the flip slide you have more sensation and more feedback from the asphalt so you are getting better feedback to Ican actually hear and feel the rotors on the bike.
The next round of the FIM e-Power International Championship will be held in Oscherleben (Germany), on 11 August, and will be a joint event with TTXGP Championship.