The Oct. 18 event in Gironville, France, was a hare scramble-style race on a grassy field organized by the French Federation of Motorcycles (FFM). The event featured 250 riders, most on 250cc or 450cc motorcycles and five electric motorcycles taking part in a series of races as part of an “Electric Motorcycle Challenge.”
The five electric motorcycles included a Zero MX ridden by Thomas Aubrey and four bikes from Swiss manufacturer Quantya. The electric racers competed in heats against about 40 conventional gas combustion motorcycles in its class.
The electric bikes struggled in the qualifying rounds as motos were only 15 minutes apart, not giving them enough time to recharge their batteries and reminding observers of the limitations of electric bikes.
Despite the power setback, Aubrey qualified for the finals 13th, among the top half of all entrants. The Zero MX was racing well ahead of its Quantya competitors so Aubrey began to turn his attention on the gas motorcycles in the two motos of the final.
Aubrey finished fifth in the first moto, using the Zero MX’s immediate maximum torque to his advantage. In the second moto, the Zero MX jumped off to a fast start, being the fifth bike into the first corner. Aubrey proceeded to catch rider after rider and eventually crossed the finish first to win the second moto. The win bumped Aubrey to third overall in the class.
“This was quite an event! We didn’t even know about it until two weeks prior so we really pushed to get our team in order and race ready. This was our first appearance in a European competition like this and the Zero MX out-performed all other bikes in our category,” says Edwin Belonje, director of European sales & marketing for Zero Motorcycles. “We are excited to capture this win and are looking forward to taking on even more competitors as the development of electric motorcycles continues to evolve.”