Czysz wins FIM e-Power Laguna Seca

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Photos: Good Shoot/FIM

Just 100 yards before the finish line, Michael Czysz came from 6.6 seconds behind to overtake Lightning’s Michael Barnes and win the inaugural FIM e-Power race at Laguna Seca. It doesn’t appear that the last second pass was part of any race strategy, but rather a function of battery capacity; the 2010 MotoCzysz E1pc was still able to lap at full speed 9 laps in, while the performance of the lightning appeared to taper off dramatically. Czysz qualified in second place with a 1:47.338 lap time and told us he reached a 122mph top speed during practice, somewhat lower than the 135mph he predicted the bike would be capable of.

Update: Czysz points out that his fastest lap time in the race — 1:44.xx — was quicker than Lightning’s qualifying time and was set on the last lap. The E1pc didn’t need to be detuned to make the race distance, nor did it suffer performance degradation as the mileage added up. The bad start, which put him in third place, was due to a tripped circuit breaker that required a reset.

Czysz says: “The start was a nightmare, but the come-from-behind finish is every racer’s dream. I personally felt a lot of pressure for the race, but Laguna Seca fans must be the most supportive fans in the world, the amount of air horns blowing and fans cheering on the last lap was incredible, I was very moved.”

  • Michael

    Congratulations to Czysz! Clearing 100 yards in less than 6.6 seconds at a race pace is pretty badass.

    Also: Thanks, Wes, for being proactive in riding the e-wave early and hard. I find that generally speaking, my fellow US motorcycling community to be a (sometimes annoyingly) conservitave group. I don’t know how much play this story would have had on the traditional rags, but I love seeing things like this front and center when I open HFL.

    • Jason Stone

      I concur. While I do not expect the electric bike to take over for all aspects of motorcycling I think we will benefit more than the cagers will in regards to this tech. Imagine how many more off-road areas we might keep or regain access to if we had capable electric steeds? Track day toys with loads of torque? Commuters that cost even less to keep going? I am all for it.

      Big congrats to Michael and the guys its a fantastic achievement

  • rohorn

    Thanks for both the report and the update – glad to see the enthusiastic and positive results.

    Also neat to see the name on the bike match the name on the rider. How often does the man & machine have the same name?

  • Jeff C

    1 watched th1s race from the Corkscrew and m1ssed the dramat1c finish. But 1t was 1mpress1ve. Czysz knows how to r1de and the T1e F1ghter sound effects from h1s bike were a welcomed break from the deafen1ng motogp mach1nes (1 know 1′m a skirt).

    We walked right up to his paddock spread after the race and talked with h1m about the race and h1s b1ke. He 1s far from the pr1ck 1′d expected from what 1′d read.

    N1ce job MotoCzysz.

  • chili sv

    It would be great to see a race recap that featured more than Czysz heroics. After all, it was far from the blowout some (ahem) had predicted.

    • gregorbean

      Any predictions on the MotoCzysz vs. Brammo showdown at Laguna Seca?
      chili sv | July 20, 2010 4:40 PM | Reply

      Czysz, it won’t even be close.
      Wes Siler replied to comment from chili sv | July 20, 2010 4:49 PM | Reply

      Czysz got smoked for most of this race. Props to him and his bike for winning, after all it’s a battle of speed and batteries and rider combined. After reading the above exchange last week I was surprised to see Lightning lead the qualifying times and then the Lightning bike pull the gap on him during the race. I was in the paddock and thought the Lightning bike had won when I heard the announcer say Czysz caught him at the end. Still easily the most creative and slick looking electric bike but not the heads above all else bike some thought it would be. And I really wish the Brammo bike could have raced. They easily had the best umbrella girls at the track this year.

      • Wes Siler

        Remember, the Lightning qualified in a hotter tune in which it raced because it couldn’t complete a race in qualifying tune. The MotoCzysz ran identical configurations in both qualifying and the race.

        And I don’t think it was so much a case of Czysz getting smoked in the first few laps as much as it was him having a bad start due to a technical glitch and being able to make up all that time in just 9 laps, sounds pretty damn impressive to me.

        • Brammofan

          “as much as it was him having a bad start due to a technical glitch and being able to make up all that time in just 9 laps,” He seemed pretty consistently 5-7 seconds behind up until the final lap. I think (but not sure) that Lightning just ran out of juice a few too many feet before the finish line.

      • chili sv

        What was the deal with the Brammo then?

        • Wes Siler

          It broke an essential and apparently irreplaceable part in practice, so couldn’t compete. We’ll bring you more details on it later.

  • ludofrenchalpes

    le E1pc à marquer l’histoire !!
    de la joie dans mon cœur … bravo pour tout cela ainsi que la concurrence ;)
    le “E tourist-trophy” & FIM “E-power” ont prouvé que Mr czysz connait l’obstination
    une pensée pour Mr BRITTEN !!!

    que vas donner le 990cc C1 mis à jour pour motogp 2012 ? mystère
    bref , le soleil brille fort sur portland ;)
    encore bravo à ses couleurs.

  • gregorbean

    No doubt it was impressive. He’s the best thing that has happened for e-racing. Certainly a fire lit under Brammo and Zero’s butts now, so to speak. I am excited for the future of this class.

  • kidchampion

    Will Czysz be competing at the TTXGP at Virginia International Raceway?

  • MTGR

    Congrats MotoCzysz!

    Great to see all their years of effort and investment starting to pay off with actual results in the record books.

    This kind of close competition between innovative designs is what will ultimately do more to advance electric performance than any amount of greenie-arm-twisting-and-guilt-trips will. Motorcycles have always been about more than commuting, real performance needs to be there for mass acceptance among riders.

    Now we need the new Brammo out there pushing things further. At this rate e-bikes may become a realistic alternative before we are too old to ride one.

  • Chuck

    Hells Yes Mike!!! We were cheering you on from Turn 6 at Laguna Seca! Your bike sounded amazingly mean compared to the others, and your your triumph at the last leg was well earned! Go Mike, and ignore the old guard stalwarts as you move forward. Looking forward to you riding one of your electric motos soon.

    BTW: any chance your going to have a C1 motoGP bike on the grid in 2011 with the 1000cc coming back?

  • E-Fan

    FYI- Fastest e-power lap of the weekend was set by Czysz- on the last lap of the race. His 1:44:xx was over a second faster than the the lightnings qualifying lap for pole.

  • ckim

    Definitely both factors lead to the come from behind win. An inspired Micheal Csysz and an e1 getting faster and faster and a pooped out battery on the lightning bike.The later was especially unexpected considering 10 laps at Laguna is not much distance at all.

    After that disaster start, where Czysz was desperately pushing the bike off with his feet i assumed Barnes would easily take first. What a great race!

  • Au

    The MotoCzysz bike is by far the most polished entry in e-Power. Definitely in the same league as a Bimota or Britten.