Road Racing News

TT 2016 Preview – Part 2 – TT Zero

Recently I started a poll on Twitter, asking the question should the TT zero race, count as a TT victory.

From the 237 voters, 51 percent said it is a TT victory, whilst 49 percent said it isn’t.

Since electric bikes first competed on the Mountain Course back in 2009, the one lap races, have seen Rob Barber, Mark Miller, Michael Rutter and most recently in the previous two years, John McGuinness.

It’s a contentious topic with many, as to whether a TT zero win, should count as a victory, at the most famous road race in the world.

In my opinion, the class is in big need for more manufacturer representation, whilst it’s encouraging to see Sarolea running a two rider team and Victory Motorcycles team returning, where are BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha?

This year’s TT zero race marks eight years of electric bike competition at the Isle of Man TT. The 2016 entry, has a scheduled line up of 14 riders, which it has to be pointed out is down on the entry received for the 1907 single cylinder TT.

No.1 John McGuinness – Team Mugen

23 times TT winner John McGuinness, is set to start once again favourite for TT zero success, as he bids for a hat trick of electric bike victories around the Mountain Course.


Since starting his TT zero adventure with Mugen back in 2012, the outright TT lap record holder has accomplished many a momentous feat with the highly acclaimed manufacturer.

This year’s Mugen machine for TT zero is titled Shinden Go, the aim for the marque at TT 2016, is a lap speed in excess of 122 mph.

No.2 Dean Harrison – Sarolea Racing

2014 lightweight TT winner Dean Harrison makes his TT zero debut, with Sarolea Racing, as he joins good friend Lee Johnston, in the Belgium based outfit.

Even though he’s a newcomer to electric bike machinery, we all know he has the credentials to finish on the podium.

No.3 Lee Johnston – Sarolea Racing

Third place finisher in last year’s TT zero encounter, Lee Johnston switches to Sarolea Racing from Victory Motorcycles.


Sarolea are confident that their SP7 machine, can be capable of at least a 120 mph lap, in Lee Johnston they have no doubt about it, the rider to take them to this iconic feat.

No.4 Peter Hickman – Nottingham University

Quickest newcomer in TT history Peter Hickman is set to make his TT zero debut, competing for Nottingham University.

Although in my opinion not a podium contender, the addition of the reigning Macau Grand Prix winner into the entry, adds an added touch of world class quality.

No.5 Bruce Anstey – Team Mugen

Bruce Anstey teams up with John McGuinness at Mugen for the third year in succession, as he bids for his electric bike TT success.

Having finished only 4.042 seconds behind his team mate in 2015, the Flying Kiwi is getting closer and closer to adding TT zero victory to his superbike, supersport, superstock, production 600 and 250 TT victories.

No.6 William Dunlop – Victory Racing

Victory Motorcycles return to TT zero competition under the guise of Victory Racing, running 2015 Duke Road Race Rankings champion William Dunlop.

Piloting the American manufacturer’s new RR mount, William is in my opinion a definite podium contender.

No.7 Robert Wilson – Sarolea Racing

Fourth place finisher in the 2014 TT Zero race, Robert Wilson is set to compete for the third time for Sarolea Racing.

A highly touted roads competitor, he cannot be discounted from securing a first TT Races podium finish.

No.8 Daley Mathison – Nottingham University

Former Ulster Grand Prix winner Daley Mathison, is part of a two rider team for Nottingham University’s TT zero challenge.

A highly ambitious rider, he has chance of recording at least a top six placing.

No.9 James Cowton – Brunel Racing

2014 Duke Road Race Rankings champion James Cowton is set to lead the Brunel University challenge.

Having encountered reliability problems in the one lap race last year, James will be aiming for better luck this time around.

No.10 Matthew Rees – Bath University

Amongst the leading newcomers at the Cookstown 100, Matthew Rees is the sole Wales representative in the TT zero entry.

Piloting Bath University’s Odin machine, Matthew is competing on a bike, which produces an impressive 215 BHP (break horsepower).

No.11 Timothee Monot – TMR

Established amongst France’s leading pure road racers, Timothee Monot’s own team TMR (Timothee Monot Racing) are set to make their TT zero bow.


It’s difficult to tell how competitive Timothee will be, but he has fond memories of the TT zero class, having secured his current personal best TT Races in 2014, finishing sixth when competing for the ManxTTX outfit.

No.12 Antonio Maeso – TBA

Spain’s Antonio Maeso is amongst the entrants for the 2016 SES TT Zero race.

At present it’s still to be announced as to who Antonio will be competing for, in the innovative one lap race.

No.14 Shaun Anderson – Kingston University

2010 newcomers A Manx Grand Prix runner up Shaun Anderson, is one to watch on Kingston University’s ION Horse mount.

Of course we know the Mugen’s will start pre race favourites, but we also must not forget how much time and effort the universities like Kingston, are putting in to compete at the most famous road race in the world.

No.15 Mark Miller – Splitlath Motorsports

2010 TT zero winner Mark Miller, takes on another new electric bike challenge, this time in the form of competing on Splitlath Motorsports new electric steed.

The team who will be running Mark on Buell machinery in the RST Superbike, Royal London 360 Superstock and Pokerstars Senior races, could well spring a surprise or two.

Round Up:

At present the entry list for the 2016 SES TT zero race, is at 14. We all know though that this number could be reduced by the time, the race takes place.

TT zero has it’s critics, there’s no doubting the effort that Mugen have put in, in recent years. The drawback of this has been, that there has been in reality no competition to the famous manufacturer in 2014 and 2015.


Road racing fans are desperate to see Mugen challenged around the Mountain Course, rather than in my opinion watching a race, where the reality is, it’s a race between two riders at present, reminiscent of the domination of certain cars in Formula 1.

Sarolea and Victory, look the most likely challengers to Mugen’s domination, the question is are they just podium contenders, or are they potential race winners?

Words by Stevie Rial

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