Tuesday, February 23, 2010

As the DC Motor Turns: The Electric Roadracing Soap Opera Continues

Complications at Birth
I hate to restate the obvious; that this marketing and promotion feud between TTXGP, IoM DTL, and the FIM is bad for the emerging electric motorcycle roadracing scene, but yeah, it certainly is.

On the other hand, maybe it’s good that we get things sorted out right at the start. Perhaps this is the point in time where everyone has the least to lose if their respective series just doesn’t take hold. Assuming competition improves the breed, we should have the best electric bike racing series possible in short order with minimal financial casualties. Harsh, but true.

I predict that we will see a single, dominant series emerge from 2010.

Evil Empire(s)
Questionable intentions appear to lie behind the motivations of the IoM TT people and the FIM. The FIM actions are no surprise. They historically tend to embrace the dark side of the force. To kick Azhar Hussain to the curb and claim the TTXGP rulebook is classic stuff from them, and yes, that is my take on what happened. The TT people are more of a surprise. I can’t fathom their reasoning other than overt publicity whoring and greed.

With his recognition in the e-moto racing scene, his charm and acumen, Azhar and his TTXGP series may still have the edge. Some will still take issue with his dual role as manufacturer (Mavizen) and series organizer (TTXGP) and chose another option. Some may be lured by the FIM’s promise of start money and marketing power. Others will see the Isle of Man as the true test for man and machine.

My heart goes out to Azhar. I can understand how emotionally invested he is. I hope he finds solace in knowing that he will forever be recognized as the father of organized electric motorcycle racing. I also feel that he has the right ideas, and the best intentions for the sport. I am certain that at the very least, his North American TTXGP series will be a hit.

The e-racing bike builders will ultimately be the deciding force in this drama. Many of the players have already been maneuvering themselves into the best position possible for their vision for the future. I’m sure that they are all trying to envision their future plans and which series will best achieve their company’s goals and dreams.

The future for this sport holds so much promise that I fail to see any obstacle which will hold back all of this momentum. We have enough turmoil in our current national series for dinosaur-powered motorcycles. I hope that things get ironed out quickly for the benefit of all of us involved in this movement.

Post Script
Originally, I was writing this article as a comment to Mark Gardiner’s 2-part Backmarker article on RoadRacerX.com. However, it grew legs of its own and I’ve decided to post a truncated version in the Backmarker comments, and post the full-tilt-boogey version here on the EM blog.

The minimum background must-reads on the TTXGP v. TT Zero v. e-Power Series are: Backmarker: TT Zero (Part I) and Electric Race Promoter Shocker (Part II), Plugbike.com: FIM Cuts Two Legs of Current e-Power Series, AsphaltandRubber.com: Electric Teams Just want to Race Against the Best

Sources: As hyperlinked
Image: Mavizen.com