Epic battles from 2011 Season Vol.1
4th November 2011
TTXGP PRESS OFFICE with STEVE ATLAS
Looking back, one of the most epic battle of the season would to be the one between Muench, CRP and Brammo at the Laguna Seca. The Mission team were hands down amazing, setting a new bar for all the team to beat and the repeat of the clash between Lightning Motors and Motoczysz was very memorable but the swapping and changing that occurred between these three closely matched racers was thrilling to watch.
| The talent of Steve Atlas on the Brammo machine had a home advantage , Alessandro Brannetti racing for the Italian CRP team had his years of world class race experience to draw on and of course Matthis Himmelmann on the German built Muench TTE had his phenomenal bike and extensive e racing experience. After the race I had a chance to speak with Steve Atlas and here is what he had to say:- |
Congratulations on a great race Steve, can you give us a run down of the race:-
“So starting about lap three, we where back in sixth but we were right there and CRP have got a two and half second advantage but I could see them coming slowly back to us. I just stayed there for a couple of laps to kinda feel things out and I didn't want to go dicing with those guy right away, because I had a feeling that we all would be pretty equal at the end, and if we started going back and forth on the second lap, someone would clean somebody out eventually. So with three to go, I got around Muench going into turn 5, I think, and then I got around CRP on the straightaway. With two to go, I tried to put my head down to get away from them but I got held up in lap traffic. Ely pulled kinda an unexpected move in turn four. The Spanish team pulled over when they saw blue flags and they pulled to side, the three of us were coming and Ely started to pull on the side with them and then out of nowhere he just went flying back into the racing line. I had to get on the brakes to gather it up and I actually locked the front tyre and completely folded the front and stood the thing up and kinda like went around them and I lost all my drive and my bike ended on the ground and they both went back by me then. So any advantage that I gained was gone so I was like “ok we got to figure out something different”. I was able to get around the Muench guys right away on the drive from 5 up to 6 and then I was behind CRP. I got him on the run to the line. I thought that was the run line for the chequered flag but it was actually for lap six and so then we came around again and he got by me in 5, and then i got by him in 9, and then I was like “I got this” and then we came back and there was still no checker flag and I was like “what the hell” and then I remembered that there was no white flag either because it was FIM so the last lap of the race, I was still kinda unsure that it was the last lap of the race and but then I figured either way if I crossed the line in front, every lap I would win that battle. So that was the goal.
CRP went crazy down into turn two and out broke both of us but then ran wide and kinda pulled the thing back underneath him, and then he got back by in turn 5 but then I got by him again in 6 and then I held him off. We then came down the hill and through turn 10 and he was leaning on me, we were literally side by side, his bike was on my bike. I could feel him there, I was like "well ok, he is right there" so I knew going into the last corner he was there and I knew he would try to outbreak us because he would take any chance he could get. I had a feeling that the Muench guys were there too but I didn't know if that guy was going to go maniac so I stood up a whole break mark early because I figured if I could get a run out, these guy would both be screwed so I stood up and they went haling in there. The Muench guys passed me and CRP out broke both of us but they were so scrambled and out of the place that the Muench guy ran wide, I tucked it up the normal line got a good drive out. I was by the Muench guy mid corner and then i was by CRP, like 20 feet on the straight away, they had no shot. So it worked out exactly as I had it planned in my head.
How was it actually racing electric bikes for you?
Steve- It was fun, it was a great race in general. That guy on the CRP bike, he is not afraid to trade paint. Him and I kinda got into it in qualifying a little bit, I was thinking what is this guy doing but then I kinda did the same thing he did and rub some of my paint on him. He didn't get mad so I thought “ok, well I guess we are going to just play dirty” and once I did that with him, and it was all even, then it was fine and then I wasn't mad anymore and then it was fun. He is not afraid to trade paint and you got to be the same. But it was cool, it was a great race.
So what is your experience on gas bikes, what have you been racing, what size?
Everything, Superbikes, 600 Supersports, M50 supersports, BMW boxer cups, you name it I’ve done it.
Are you interested in continuing racing on electrics?
The Brammo guys are really cool guys, as much as I can help them out. As long as they are funding the thing, I’m down, works for me. It’s cool the amount of technology that is involved, it’s come a long way, on one hand it was cool to see how fast Mission went and it set a new bar for us to beat- we'll do it. It is good for the sport that Mission set the bench mark where they did and showed that electric bike are capable of running with gas bikes. It gives everyone a new bench mark to shoot for and we will come back next year and go quicker …
Thanks to Alex Tang, Phil Hawkins and Brammo for the Photos!
Alessandro Branetti 44
Matthia himmelman 49
Steve Atlas 58
The battle was epic
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