Senior TT Winner Steve Plater
The Tourist Trophy races at the Isle of Man are over for another year, and the legendary races have another layer of history slathered on them. A new lap record was set in the Senior TT and the first alternative-fuel race at the Isle was won by a large margin by a joint UK/Indian company. Sadly, there was also tragedy.
In the premier class, British Supersport racer Steve Plater took first place when his teammate, 15-time-TT-winner John McGunness, suffered a broken drivechain on the fourth lap. However, McGuiness still set a record 131.578 mph laptime before the bike quit. The race saw Honda with two bikes on the podium – a nice way to celebrate the company’s 50th year at the Isle.
There were plenty of new race fans this year, thanks to the new TTXGP. Open to zero-emissions vehicles, the one-lap event drew 17 teams (15 started) from all over the world, and we’ve talked about the MotoCzysz bike as well as other entries. After all the hype surrounding the MotoCzysz and Mission Motors entries, the winner of the Best Buy Pro class was built by Anglo-Indian, electric-motor supplier Agni. That bike, based on a 2007 Suzuki GSX-R600 and piloted by Brit Rob Barber, was significantly faster than the other machines, averaging 87.434 mph, which shattered the 50cc class record set in 1971. Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?
MotoCzysz Entry Before Mechanical (Electrical?) Failure
The MotoCzysz was definitely the best looking bike out there, and performed well in practice: “…we passed every other team and were blazing in for the fastest lap of the field,” said the team to Motorcycle News. Sadly, it had hardware problems which possibly repeated during the race; the E1pc didn’t make it to the first checkpoint. The Mission Motors rider, Northern Californian Tom Montano, missed the podium by just 31 seconds, behind Mark Buckley on a Brammo. Not an exciting race by TT standards (even compared to 1939), but a successful start to a new era of electric motorcycle racing.
Tragedy is rarely a stranger to the TT, and this year was no different. 57-year-old John Crellin died after crashing on the fifth lap of the Senior TT. He had also competed in the TTXGP’s Open class, finishing third for Team TORK. Our thoughts are with his family.