John McGuinness Dominates Isle Of Man TT Zero Challenge, Sets New Record In The Process
John McGuinness lived up to his favorite status at the Isle of Man TT Zero Challenge by not only winning the event, but obliterating the speed record in the electric bike class only a few days after setting the previous record in qualifying. It was that kind of a dominant run for McGuiness, who lapped the Snaefell Mountain course in 18:58.743, setting a new speed record of 119.279 mph in the process.
It’s the second straight TT Zero Challenge for McGuinness, who once again relied on the overall brilliance of Team Mugen and its all-conquering electric racing bike, the Shinden Yon. Even McGuinness’ teammate, Bruce Anstey, managed to post a blistering lap time that saw him reach a top speed of 118.857 mph. Even if McGuinness didn’t compete in the race, Anstey’s top speed would’ve still broken the two-day old, 118.056-mph record set by McGuinness in one of the event’s qualifying rounds.
That’s how dominant McGuinness, Anstey, and Team Mugen were at one of the most eagerly anticipated events at the Isle of Man TT.
Meanwhile, Victory Motorcycles also had an impressive showing at the event, even though any thought of upstaging the Mugen riders were thrown out the window a long time ago. For a team that just made its debut in European road racing, Victory Motorcycles finished third and fourth in the event with Lee Johnston upstaging teammate-for-hire Guy Martin for the last step in the podium with a top speed of 11.620 mph. The flamboyant Martin ended up finishing fourth, just ahead of Sarolea’s Robert Wilson.
Still, the talk of the town was McGuinness’ record-breaking performance. Both Mugen riders may not have breached the 120-mph glass ceiling, but with the incredible improvements of the team compared to its 2014 performance, there’s no reason to doubt that said glass ceiling could be shattered in a year’s time.
Continue reading to read more about John McGuinness’ record-setting speed record at the Isle of Man TT Zero Challenge.
Why it matters
The suspense surrounding the event was really taken out as soon as word spread that McGuinness beat the speed record he set in 2014 in the qualifying stages of this year’s event. At that point, it became really clear that this was going to be a two-way battle between McGuinness and his teammate, Bruce Anstey.
Props still go to Victory Motorcycles for a highly successful debut in European road racing. For a company that has never been in this kind of position before to finish with impressive speed times of its own is really remarkable. We can only expect Victory to build on this successful run and become a bigger threat to Team Mugen in this event in the coming years.
But really, the 2015 TT Zero Challenge will end up being described as the crowning achievement for a team that began competing in this event in 2012, finishing second in each of those two seasons before finally breaking through in 2014. This year marks the team’s second straight victory in the TT Zero Challenge so you can expect it to have even higher expectations as it prepares to capture a third-straight title in 2016.
For now, though I think we can give Team Mugen a moment to bask in its achievements and soak it all in. But rest assured, as soon as the celebration ends, all eyes will be on the team to see if it can finally break through that “mythical-for-electric-bikes” 120-mph top speed number.