The era of electric motorcycle racing arrives at the TT

Rob Barber after making history by becoming the first person to lap the TT course on an electric bike

The era of electric motorcycle racing has arrived, with the 2009 Isle of Man TT playing host to the TTXGP.

The machines for the world’s first clean emission race took to the legendary Mountain circuit on Tuesday afternoon for the first practice session around the 37.73-mile course.

Despite the doubters, 10 of the 14 starters made it around the TT course, and the speeds impressed all spectators.

Speeds in excess of 100mph were recorded on the Sulby straight, and the fastest machine round – Team Agni’s Pro Class entry – lapped at an average speed of 84.81mph.

Team Agni rider Rob Barber, of Bury, had the honour of being the first man to lap the TT course on an electric-powered bike.

Speaking afterwards he said:

‘It was an amazing experience, we had energy in reserve. I hope this is the turning point for them. People need to get behind them. They are not to replace petrol, they are an addition to petrol. I hope it is a big success.’
‘We are ready to race. I am racing. It doesn’t matter if it is a parade lap or not, I will be racing out there. These guys have worked so hard, every team.’

Barber said the riding experience had been ‘fantastic’, and said there is more to come from Team Agni.

He added:

‘The thing just works, it’s a fantastic bike.’

In the Open class, for machines built within a £30,000 budget, Dan Kneen – one of the rising stars at this year’s TT – lapped at an average speed of 70.677mph, his Team ManTTx Racing entry leading the class home.

The TTXGP race is scheduled for Friday morning.

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