Road Racing News

TT 2019: Preview – Part 1 – SES TT Zero Race

Dominant in the TT Zero category since 2014, the works Mugen squad, now receiving title sponsorship from Bathams Brewery, once again this year start the warm favourites to make it a sixth successive electric bike Mountain Course crown.

Mugen’s rider line up for TT 2019, boasts between them six TT Zero victories, as Mountain Course greats Michael Rutter and John McGuinness pilot the high tech, red, white liveried Shinden Hachi steeds.

Anticipated to duke it out for class honours next month, it’s hard to look past respective six times, 23 times TT winners Rutter and McGuinness, from securing Mugen a fourth 1-2 finish in six years.

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 Hachi mounted racers.

Nottingham University’s Daley Mathison though, as showcased by splitting the Mugen’s last year, has proven that it’s not impossible to get close to the all conquering Japanese marque.

Mathison, fresh from a brace of top ten finishes at the North West 200, will more than likely provide again the strongest opposition to the all star Mugen team.

Photo by Nick Wheeler

Whilst others keen to create an impression include ten times TT winner Ian Lougher aboard the Team Mirai mount, Alun Thomas, Bath University’s Matt Rees, the Duffy Motorsport duo of Shaun Anderson and Mike Norbury and South Africa’s AJ Venter heading Brunel University’s latest event voyage.

Unfortunately as in recent years overall entry numbers are struggling to touch 15, which only adds fuel to the debate of those who believe this race should not be 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?

Well as aforementioned Nottingham University, could well pose a stern challenge next month. We must point out though that the university teams, like the Nottingham outfit, 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

>