Ok, so I don’t have official times or entry lists. And yes, I’ve asked. But give it some time we’ll have the results and a barrage of videos.
Here’s what I know from twitter (thank you Brian Wismann and David Tarlau!) and Facebook. Brammo ran a fastest lap of 1:40.442 in practice , and led both sessions. In the main TT (Time Trial) event they posted a 1:40.2. Now let me put that into context.
Last year, the third time the REFUEL event was held, a few bikes were there. 3 of those bikes were to go on and race at the e-Power/TTXGP event a few weeks later. Those bikes were Mission Motors, Brammo, and K Squared Racing. Mission won the motorcycle division with a 1:44.779, with Brammo running a 1:47.372. Brammo thought they were in the hunt, and MotoCzysz probably thought they had it all but in the bag. Then, a few weeks later, back at Laguna Seca for the e-Power/TTXGP race, Mission posted a 1:31.376 in qualifying. That is a staggering 13.403 seconds a lap gone, just like that. They then went to post a track record of 1:33.194 during the race, and except for the standing start first lap, Steve Rapp rode 1:33s to 1:34s all race long. This was the electron heard around the world. Now, they weren’t the only ones to improve. Brammo posted their fastest lap during the race by running a 1’40.644, which is a bout 1.5 seconds faster than they ran in qualifying, and 6.728 seconds faster than their fastest time at the 2011 REFUEL.
So today, with cool temperatures (tires don’t like cold temps) and traffic on the course Brammo ran a 1:40.6 in practice. And then with a delay on track for the TT their tires went cold and they managed a 1:40.2 in less than ideal conditions. Mind you, they have almost 50 more hp and twice the torque they did last year. So they ended the day 7.1 seconds faster than they did at last year’s REFUEL event, but only .5 seconds faster than their fastest time at last year’s e-Power/TTXGP race that followed. But Brian Wismann, the team principal?/manager?/Lead?/Kung Fu Master?, said on twitter, “Good test for Laguna!” There is more speed to be had. Don’t forget that Micheal Czysz told me at NA Final last year that he felt this years lap times should drop by about 6 seconds. I did mention to him that he also said that about 2011. I think the Brammo guys have another 7 seconds. But I don’t think it’s going to be enough. I think the MotoCzysz bike with a top level rider on it (but make no mistake Micheal Czysz is fast) will break the 1:30 barrier, Lightning will be a second, maybe 2, off. And Brammo will be 3-4 seconds off the fastest times instead of 7 or 8.
Keep in mind that the last I knew MotoCzysz and Lightning had both built motors based off of the same Remy motor, and were both running uber trick controllers from the same company. Now, Lightning is planning on introducing a street bike, and MotoCzysz is producing drivetrains for the military to test, as well as a South American company. But it is still hard for me not to look at those guys as most everyone else in the EV world, guys in their garages building bikes. Only they have a lot of money to throw around. Actually, MotoCzysz is more like the Tech 3 MotoGP team, and being able to buy engines and transmissions from them. Only smaller. Craig Bramscher is similar in that he had a lot of money, but he didn’t build a fancy garage. He built a motorcycle company instead. Brammo’s race bike is restricted in a way that neither the Lightning or the MotoCzysz bike is. Instead of the sky being the limit, the tech that goes into the Empulse RR has to be justified almost, as to what is possible to put into the next production bike. In other words, it seems to me that the tech in their race bike cannot go too far ahead of what is possible to put into a production motorcycle. Brammo is going to close the gap slowly to MotoCzysz and Lightning, and eventually I think they will pass them. But it is not going to happen this year or maybe even the next. I suspect it will be about the same time the Japanese decide to join the elmoto game, if not the year before.