‘The sound on my telly’s broken,’ I briefly thought as I watched ITV4’s Isle of Man TT highlights last night. ‘There’s action on the screen, but those bikes aren’t making any noise.’
In fact, the programme was showing footage of Wednesday’s SES TT Zero race, where Michael Rutter made history by becoming the first man to lap the TT course at more than 100mph on a zero-emissions electric motorbike.
Forgive my diversion into the world of two wheels, but watching Rutter was uncanny – the TV images were accompanied by the electric bike’s hushed whine, rather than the high-revving roar of a Suzuki GSX-R1000 or Honda CBR600RR. It looked quick, too.
Rutter – riding for Segway Racing (yes, that Segway) – won the one-lap race on his MotoCzysz machine, crossing the line at an average speed of 104.056mph for the 37-and-a-bit-mile lap.
Impressive enough, but bear in mind that damp patches were reported around some parts of the course when Rutter was flagged away from the start. The next two finishers, John McGuinness on a Mugen and third-placed Mark Miller on a 2011-spec MotoCzysz, also broke the 100mph barrier. Through the speed trap at the end of the Sulby straight, about halfway around the lap, Miller was the fastest rider, breaking the radar beam at 132.6mph.