Chip Yates and his Swigz Racing team have achieved the seemingly impossible, with two podium finishes with their electric superbike on its global racing debut, competing against a competitive field of gasoline-powered race machines.
Despite only six laps of pre-race testing during Saturday's practice session and a cold and overcast day, the privately-owned and developed machine exceeded all expectations in its two race outings during Sunday's racing action.
Yates achieved an astonishing third place in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superbike race after starting on the third row of the grid. He then went one better in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock race to finish second and post the fastest lap of the race at a 1:39.792. The all-electric machine hit 158mph on the straight and appeared visibly quicker compared to even the 1000cc Japanese superbikes from the other top WERA superbike classes.
Chip Yates said: "This was an epic race weekend for our team; we had to overcome some technical difficulties on Saturday but we fixed everything and came back Sunday to score two podiums, a huge top speed, and post competitive gasoline bike lap times with no further technical issues to slow us down. What a humbling experience for our small team to develop and build a superbike that can beat gasoline bikes from the top manufacturers on their own terms - I was nearly brought to tears as I crossed the finish line both times!"
Many in the sport have viewed the success of Yates and the Swigz team with complete astonishment. Yates continues: "We are a small and entirely self-funded team, and together with a small group of loyal sponsors, are solely responsible for the development, patenting and building of this superbike."
The bike has been developed with all-new technology and software in less than one year, and after extensive simulation testing, worked right out of the box from day one to beat bikes made by the world's best known Italian and Japanese manufacturers.
Yates and his skunk team of key engineers Ben Ingram and Robert Ussery, have developed an industry-leading understanding of electric powertrain technology and development. The lap times achieved by the lithium-ion powered bike on its first competitive outing validate the team's assertion that its bike is vastly superior in technology and performance to any other electric bike and can demonstrably take the fight to conventional gasoline machines.
"We have to thank WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and Evelyne Clarke for their graciousness and vision in welcoming our electric superbike to their nationwide gasoline race series", said Yates. "Out of courtesy to the regular WERA racers, we forfeited the championship points today in order to not interfere with the gasoline bike season results, and a lot of those racers visited our pits to voice their support of our program!"
To see a video of Chip Yates at speed visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIMQ0c7JKIU