TTXGP: Why the ‘Lotus’ bike missed the first practice

Published: 10 June 2009

The ‘Lotus’ bike failed to make it to the first TTXGP practice session on Tuesday because it was still being built, chassis designer Peter Williams has revealed.

“The team arrived in the Island on Monday still with a few details to finish off” he says.

Some of the delay was down to the batteries – which arrived late and differently shaped to expected.

“The team has no chance of winning now” Williams candidly admits, but says it will be a huge success to have a bike featuring so many new ideas simply to make it into the race.

Unlike most other TTXGP compeitors the bike features a completely un-race-tested chassis design, consisting of twin carbon monococque shells attached to a central alloy spine.

Strength tests have so far been limited to ‘static drops’, with the bike being dropped to the floor from a few feet. It’s hard to imagine a sterner test of a new design than having a TT as your first race, but Williams says he’s confident the bike the stand up the punishment.

“I’m happy as long as the team is extremely careful – which I know they will be. As well as being extremely passionate, they’re extremely competent engineers” he says.

Team boss Rick Simpson says the team expects to make the next practice later today (Wednesday).

TTXGP first practice times

PRO Class times
Team Agni (Rob Barber): 26:41 (85.7mph lap)
Mission Motors (Thomas Montano): 33:45 (67.68mph)
XXL (Thomas Schoenfelder): 34.07 (66.45mph)
Brammo/Bike (Roy Richardson): 35:47 (63.83mph)
Brammo/Bike (Mark Buckley): 35:52 (63.74mph)
HTBLAUVA – TGM (Paul Dobbs): 41:53 (54.51mph)

Open Class times (£30,000 bike price limit)
ManTTx Racing (Dan Kneen): 32:01 (70.73mph)
Barefoot Motors Racing (Chris Petty): 33:35 (67.89mph)
Electric Motorsport (Chris Heath): 36:26 (62.44mph)
NSR - Kingston University (George Spence): 40:44 (55.98mph)