TT Racers Mourn Fallen Rider Dave Wells

dan_wellsDave Wells, an Isle of Man TT veteran, passed away this weekend after a crash while racing at Mallory Park.

Wells started his TT career in 1988.  Wells raced along the Mountain Course for more than two decades. He scored two TT wins, eight podium finishes and another 10 top six positions. Wells last raced at the Isle of Man alongside Roy Hanks in the number 9 Sidecar.

Manx Grand Prix and Southern 100 press officer Phil Edge, said:

“Dave Wells was a devoted TT competitor having ridden in the Sidecar races every year since 1988, with the exception of 2001 when the TT races were cancelled due to the foot-and-mouth epidemic in the UK… Dave Wells competed in 42 TT races between 1998 and 2011, taking victory twice, finishing second three times; third five times and finishing in the top six another 10 times during a 23-year TT career… There will be a massive void in the TT paddock in 2012, but one that that will be all the more richer with the fond memories of Dave Wells for his professionalism and enjoyment he provided for sport he loved and lived for – Sidecar Racing. A very special Guy!”

Mallory Park’s general manager John Ward said:

“He is going to be greatly missed by everybody, he was a fantastic character who loved his racing, loved his sport.”

Wells death is the third major racing death in the last month. Marco Simoncelli passed away after a crash during a MotoGP race last week, and earlier this month, Dan Wheldon died during an Indycar race.

Oliver Godfrey: The First Man to Conquer the Isle of Man Mountain Course

oliver_godfreyThe Isle of Man is celebrating 100 years of motorcycle racing around the famous mountain course this Saturday. The centennial celebration will honor riders like Giacomo Agostini, Joey Dunlop, Mick Doohan, and the man who preceded all other TT Champions, Oliver Godfrey.

Godfrey, from London, won his one and only TT in 1911 at the age of 23 during the first Isle of Man race held on the Mountain Course. (The TT has been around since 1907, but those races were held at St John’s Short Course. Godfrey raced at St John’s from 1907 to 1910, but he never won on the short course.)oliver_godfrey_isle_of_man_tt_finish

Godfrey was one of five riders to compete in the 1911 TT. Arthur Moorhouse, Charles Franklin, Jimmy Alexander and Jake De Rosier lined up next to Godfrey for the first laps around the Isle of Man’s mountain course, but Godfrey was the only rider to have a smooth ride for all five laps of the inaugural race. The length of the TT and the unpaved country roads made crashes just about inevitable. Moorhouse, Franklin, and De Rosier were slowed by a crash or fuel problems during the first TT, leaving Godfrey, riding an Indian motorcycle, the opportunity to cruise at an average speed of 47.6 mph to take the first ever TT victory.

Godfrey was never able to duplicate the results that he achieved in 1911. He would fail to start in 1912 and he earned a DNF in 1913. Godfrey was able to climb back up to the podium, however, in the 1914 TT.

oliver_godfrey_indianGodfrey may have been able to claim another TT victory, but when World War I broke out he joined the war effort. Godfrey flew for the 27 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. Godfrey would die at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

You can read more about Oliver Godfrey here. Tim Pickering, one of the authors of the upcoming book “Franklin’s Indians” and Chris Smith, of Motorsport Publications LLC ( ) have come up with a great mini biography for Oliver Godfrey.

MotoCzysz Gains Power from New(ish) Battery

MotoCzysz & Dow Kokam togetherYou might have noticed, if you paid attention to the 2011 Isle of Man TT, that the TT Zero was dominated by the riders and crew from MotoCzysz. The team’s two riders took both first and second place in the event, thanks to the MotoCzysz E1pc all-electric superbike.

MotoCzysz and Dow Kokam

A recent announcement states that MotoCzysz has now officially chosen Michigan-based battery specialist Dow Kokam to be their exclusive electron storage provider. Dow Kokam’s advanced lithium polymer batteries will be used on all MotoCzysz racing motorcycles for the remainder of this season, and possibly beyond.

This actually continues a relationship going back to at least the 2010 season, when MotoCzysz also managed to top the TT Zero at the Isle of Man. Since success often breeds great companions, this relationship will be an important one in the future of electric motorcycle engineering at MotoCzysz and throughout the burgeoning industry.

Praise for Power

2011 MotoCzysz E1pcMore evidence of just how successful this technological alliance may become comes from the glowing praise MotoCzysz gives to Dow Kokam for their product. According to Michael Czysz, founder and CEO of MotoCzysz, “Dow Kokam’s advanced lithium polymer battery cells are best-in-class and capable of producing race winning performance.”

So as not to leave out the MotoCzysz engineering aspect, and their plan to develop drive systems for more than just racing motorcycles, Mr. Czysz also sees even more potential down the line. “These advancements will eventually be available to other motorsports teams and will help deliver that same advantaged performance to passenger vehicle electrification as well.” The future between MotoCzysz and Dow Kokam looks bright, or should that be ‘electric’?

The MotoCzysz Advantage

A major benefit from the relationship between MotoCzysz and Dow Kokam has to be the exceptional performance of the E1pc on the track. American Mark Miller took victory at the TT Zero in 2010 on one, then he placed second this year; and his English teammate, Michael Rutter took to the top step in 2011 thanks to the same model. Winning in high-profile competition – as the Isle of Man TT is a true world-wide phenomenon – is one of the better ways to put the MotoCzysz E1pc front and center in the minds of those looking for a fast electric motorcycle or its associated technology.

The first year of the working relationship provided plenty of press fodder due to the MotoCzysz E1pc winning most of the races it entered and breaking records at some of the many worldwide tracks it visited in 2010. Popular Science even dubbed the E1pc “the most advanced electric motorcycle in the world.” Praise like that gains notice for MotoCzysz.

2011 MotoCzysz E1pc in actionDow Kokam and Tomorrow

Dow Kokam already has a good start on their ascension to the upper reaches of lithium polymer battery technology, and it’s not only thanks to MotoCzysz. The energy company has almost finished construction on a new 400,000 square-foot “battery park” in Midland, Michigan, which they started at the end of 2010. And, they have set up a school to train new employees for that operation in order to bring in some of the many unemployed living around the region.

With MotoCzysz and the continual development of their primary engineering design, the E1pc, using the advanced battery technology from Dow Kokam, we should all expect huge leaps in the competency of electric motorcycles…and, soon after, electric automobiles.

Courtesy of

Sedgeway Racing Motoczysz Sets the Pace for Zero TT

zero_ttSedgeway Racing Motoczysz remain the team to beat in the 2011 Isle of Man SES TT Zero race with both of their riders – Mark Miller and Michael Rutter – sitting on top of the qualifying session. Conditions were perfect for the second practice as all nine of the bikes for Wednesday’s Race lined up on the grid on Glencrutchery Road.

2010 TT Zero Race winner Mark Miller was first away followed by all Manx effort of Dan Kneen riding for the ManTTx. John Burrows was next away for American Outfit Lighting Motorcycles followed by the ION Horse outfit of perennial electric bike competitors Ecotricity Kingston University, the first of the four University outfits.

Another University outfit, prestigious American based Massachusetts Institute of Technology were next off the startline with Allan Brew and all Japanese outfit Team Prozza and Yoshinari Matsushita followed them away. Roy Richardson and Russ Mountford, both competing on behalf of university outfits Imperial and Brunel respectively were the final University outfits and all eyes will be on the competition within the competition for the fastest University team in Wednesday’s SES TT Zero race that comes with a £5k prize fund.

Last away was Michael Rutter, riding the second Sedgeway Racing Motoczysz outfit and he was quickly into his stride, leading on corrected time at Glen Helen with 5.45.46 (101.081mph). John Burrows split the Motoczysz pair with a 10 second lead over Mark Miller who was third at the first checkpoint in 6.52.85.

George Spence (7.11.56), Allan Brew (7.21.69), Russ Mountford (7.38.52) and Joshinari Matsushita (8.32.11) were the only other outfits to remain on the course as Dan Kneen and Roy Richardson retired on Bray Hill and at Crosby respectively.

Rutter continued to set the pace and after extending his lead to over a minute from Burrows by Ballaugh with an average speed of 106.647mph he posted an impressive 138.4 through the Sulby speed trap. With Burrows dropping out at Whitegates and Mountford retiring at Alpine, Rutter was left with only his team-mate Miller (81.133mph), Kingston’s Spence (80.442) and fellow University competitor Brew (78.536) in close proximity and finished with a lap of 24.15 at an average speed of 93.353mph for the 37 ¾ mile course. Yoshinari Matsushita also brought the Team Prozza bike home in 35:59.22 (62.906mph).

The teams will now prepare for Wednesday’s SES TT Zero Race and the prospect of the first 100mph lap, which comes with a £10k prize fund from the Isle of Man Government remains a possibility.

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of the Isle of Man Press Office]

Michael Dunlop Takes TT Superstock Win

michael_dunlopMichael Dunlop made up for the disappointment of retiring from the morning’s Monster Energy Supersport Race 1 by winning Monday evening’s delayed 4-lap Royal London 360 Superstock race.

Dunlop overhauled lap one leader Guy Martin and promptly romped away, putting in a second lap some 13 seconds quicker than his nearest rival giving him the cushion that allowed him to control the race after the pit stop. His eventual winning margin, the 9th TT win for Kawasaki, was 18.63s over John McGuinness, the Padgetts Honda rider overhauling Martin on the third lap. However, the Relentless by TAS Suzuki rider had the consolation of his second podium of the day.

The daytime sun gave way to cooler, cloudier conditions for the 6.30pm start and it was McGuinness who put in his trademark rapid nine miles and he led Martin. It was close though with just 0.2s between them whilst William Dunlop was only another half second back in third. Indeed, there was only 1s between the top 4 and 2.4s between the top 7, Gary Johnson, Bruce Anstey and Keith Amor all right on the pace.

At Ramsey, Michael Dunlop was in the lead from Martin and McGuinness but it had all changed by the Grandstand and it was now the Suzuki man in the lead, his opening lap of 127.953mph giving him a buffer of just under two seconds. McGuinness was still in contention, only another 1.7s in arrears with Johnson, William Dunlop and Amor completing the top six. Leading contenders Dan Stewart was out of luck though, the Cumbrian retiring his BMW at the end of the first lap.

The front three were edging away from the rest of the field with Martin circulating on the road with Amor but it was Dunlop who was surging clear at the front, his advantage over Martin 3.5s which, amazingly, he extended to almost ten seconds by Ramsey. McGuinness was still only two seconds off Martin but at the end of the lap, Dunlop’s lap of 129.709mph was way quicker than anyone else and his lead rocketed up to 13 seconds.

Johnson was out though having retired at Cregny Baa whilst William Dunlop and Dan Kneen were treating the fans all around the course to a terrific spectacle as they lapped wheel to wheel.

The pit stops all went smoothly for the front runners and by Glen Helen, Dunlop’s lead was over 15 seconds and, with another 4 added to that gap by Ramsey, it was his race to lose. Behind though, McGuinness was making a move and he was now ahead of Martin by almost two seconds, the latter still circulating – and swapping positions – with Amor. The battle for fifth was also hotting up with little to separate Wilson Craig Honda team-mates William Dunlop and Cameron Donald.

Dunlop maintained his advantage over McGuinness all the way to the chequered flag for his second TT win whilst the Morecambe man was delighted to have racked up yet another TT win. Martin, meanwhile, was again left to rue what might have been and had to settle for third, his 11th TT podium.

Amor enjoyed his second top four finish of the day in fourth whilst William Dunlop just got the verdict from Donald by 0.48s. Kneen, Michael Rutter, Adrian Archibald and James Hillier rounded out the top ten whilst newcomer Simon Andrews put in a brilliant ride to take 11th, also lapping well over 123mph and being the first privateer home.

Conor Cummins got his much deserved first finish of the week in 12th with newcomers Dean Harrison and PiotrBetlej also putting in their first 120mph+ laps in 27th and 29th.

McGuinness has opened up a 10-point lead over Amor in the TT Championship while Ian Mackman, 15th in the race, continues to extend his lead in the Privateers Championship.

To listen live to Radio TT’s commentary for all races and follow live timing at the 2011 Isle of Man TT Races go to

[Press Release and Photo Courtesy of Isle of Man Media Office]