Road Racing News

TT 2018: Preview – Part 2 – TT Zero Race

Dominant in the TT Zero category since 2014, the works Mugen squad once again this year start the warm favourites to make it a fifth successive electric bike Mountain Course crown.

With reigning class champion Bruce Anstey and John McGuinness ruled out of TT 2018, the Japanese manufacturers new look team for TT 2018 mixes the ever cheerful multi international roads winner Lee Johnston with a previous three time TT Zero winner, Michael Rutter.

Anticipated to duke it out for class honours next month, it is hard to look past the evergreen Rutter and Fermanagh’s Johnston from securing Mugen a fourth 1-2 finish in five years.

Photo by Taku Nagami

As we all know though nothing is ever a guarantee when it comes to Mountain Course competition, in my opinion though it will take a strike of good fortune or two for anyone to get close to the Shinden Nana mounted racers.

New Halsall Racing signing Daley Mathison set to compete again for Nottingham University, is likely to strongly contend for another podium finish alongside the Mugens.

Whilst others keen to create an impression include ten times TT winner Ian Lougher aboard the Team Mirai steed, Optimark Road Racing’s Xavier Denis, former Manx GP winners Ian Pattinson and Dave Moffitt, Matt Rees, motorcycle journalist Adam Child plus James Cowton who heads again Brunel University’s challenge.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Unfortunately as in recent years overall entry numbers are struggling to touch 20, which only adds fuel to the debate of those who believe this race should not considered a TT victory.

You cannot deny the engineering on offer in the innovative one lap race, when you watch in particular the Mugen’s in action, you can sense how unique, innovative and priceless bikes like this are.

At the other end of the spectrum though there is this nagging question in a lot of our minds, were is the competition to Mugen?

The university teams, independent overseas outfits, privateer entries albeit giving it everything in terms of all aspects, cannot compete against the financial and engineering resources that Mugen possess.

You can’t take away though the achievements in recent years of the Japanese manufacturer, who are purely and simply doing a job better than anyone at present in the TT Zero class.

Words by Stevie Rial

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