Down the Corkscrew - Testing at Laguna Seca

Updated: Jun 21

First things first, before our second race of the season with CRA, we attended a trackday at Laguna Seca at the end of last month, hoping to get some time at the iconic track ahead of the AHRMA race round in July. We made some setting changes, raising the forks in the triples, following the last race at Buttonwillow and hoped to get some early indication of whether we were headed in the right direction.

Laguna Seca Raceway is a very different track than Buttonwillow, but we were pretty pleased with our set-up out of the box and set about making some small changes based on Troy's feedback. Unfortunately, the nature of the track didn't really tell us much about the front end changes to speed up the steering in quick transitions.

Having raced at Laguna with Lightfighter v1 in 2019, we had a pretty good idea of the pit setup in the garages and what kind of power was available (208Vac/30A), so I feel like we came out swinging on this test and really maximized our time on track. Miraculously, the marine layer was nowhere to be seen and we had perfect weather all day.


After establishing our set-up in the morning, we moved to longer runs in the afternoon sessions and got in 2 full race simulations. Even with the trackday traffic, Troy was able to crack off low 1'35s at will, which as promising to see as our practice pace was over a second and a half faster than our fastest race lap on v1 (albeit in February with cooler track temps). Top speed was up about 4 mph on the front straight, and 5 mph on climbing up the hill out of T6.


For those that have followed electric motorcycle racing for awhile, you might appreciate that Troy would've finished in a close second to Mission Motors' FIM ePower race with Steve Rapp back in 2011. That bike still holds the unofficial lap record at Laguna Seca of 1'31.3 set in Qualifying for that race. Rapp's race times were in the 1'33 - 1'35s range, so we're at least knocking on the door of performance of some of the best full-factory prototypes built from that era of EV motorcycle development (Mission, Lightning, Motoczysz, Brammo). I'll also mention that those races were 8 laps and we were running 10 lap race simulations, so that's something as well...


Can't believe I forgot to post this video on my first publish of this story. Thanks to Nick Lambert for the video below of Troy carrying a wheelie off Turn 11 onto the front straight. The smoke is from a 2-stroke that had just gone by...


For anyone wanting to take a trip down memory lane, here's a video from that historic 2011 race event. At some point, I'll get around to a blog post about what happened to each of these companies (spoiler - CRP became Energica and now builds the MotoE bikes). You'll see a little red bike piloted by none other than Ely Schless in the video as well. He was running in a different class from the larger bikes.


Stay tuned for my race report from CRA where we got to see if we'd made any improvements based on lap times at our "control" track...



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