Oct 29th 2020– Six-time motorcycle racing world champion Max Biaggi and electric motorcycle constructor Voxan are set to attempt to break no fewer than 12 world speed records, on the runway of Châteauroux airport in France this weekend.
The challenge, taking place over three days starting on 30 October, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Venturi Group’s electric adventure.
The Wattman is the first high-performance electric motorcycle made by Voxan, specially designed for the latest world speed record project, and revealed to the world on 1 July.
These world speed record attempts were originally due to take place in July on the planet’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. However Gildo Pastor, President of Venturi, was keen for the event to form part of the Group’s 20th anniversary this year and so the Bolivia event was ultimately postponed owing to Covid-19.
As a result, and to ensure the 20th anniversary is marked in fitting style all the same, Gildo Pastor has opted to set up at Châteauroux airport, in central France, whose runway meets the criteria laid down by the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation).
Voxan and Max Biaggi will hit the tarmac with both the semi-streamliner and non-streamlined Wattman (see photo above: on the left, the non-streamlined Wattman; in the centre, the lighter version of the semi-streamliner Wattman (used in case of side winds); and on the right, the fully decked-out semi-streamliner Wattman).
The Wattman motorcycle delivers a phenomenal 150 kW (203 HP) of power at up to 10,500 rpm, generating instant torque of 200 Nm. At the time, it staked a claim to be the most powerful electric motorcycle ever built, capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.4 seconds. Instead of a frame, it has an ultra-rigid aluminium exoskeleton that integrates all of the powertrain components.
Each 270 kW (367 CH) machine will attempt to set the stopwatch alight over the following distances: ¼ mile, 1 mile, and 1 km – each time from both a standing start, and a flying start.
In six of these categories, no official attempt has ever been made before, and so six new records are almost guaranteed. In the remaining six categories, there are records to be beaten.
The target speeds vary considerably. In the semi-streamliner category, for example, the speed for the ¼ mile is 87 km/h, whereas for the mile the figure is 329 km/h. (The Current record is: 329.085 km/h, set by Ryuji Tsuruta riding Mobitec EV-02A (in all weight classes)
Gildo Pastor, President of Venturi-“The whole team has been ready to take on these world records for several weeks. So instead of waiting to find out whether we will be able to ride in Bolivia in June 2021, I have decided to make the attempt now, on the track that’s both best suited and closest to our base in Monaco. If the weather conditions are good, we will be able to collect some records. It will be a fine way to mark 20 years of the Venturi Group.”
Max Biaggi, rider of the Voxan Wattman- “This will be our third time riding on the runway at Châteauroux airport. The performances in testing in June and August gave us confidence. We are more than ready. This weekend, if the track is dry and the side winds are light, we will be able to beat several records. I can’t wait to bring these titles back to Monaco and the team!”
In 2010, the iconic motorcycle manufacturer Voxan Motors was bought by Venturi. Its President, Gildo Pastor, immediately refocused the constructor on a new core business: electric engines.
In 2013, Venturi unveiled the Voxan Wattman, a symbol of the brand’s rebirth and its radically new technical direction and styling.
In 2019, the teams began work on a new, high-performance version of the Wattman, specially designed to set new world speed records.
Voxan is no stranger to the electric world, since 2004, a total of ten vehicles have emerged from the Monegasque firm’s laboratories and workshops. Each vehicle has made its own mark on history, with unique design, ground-breaking technology and outstanding performance. Among them are the Venturi Buckeye Bullet (VBB), the fastest, most powerful electric cars whose speed records remain unbeaten:
– 2009, the VBB-2.0 (the Venturi hydrogen-powered exception) – 487 km/h
– 2016, the VBB-3 – 549 km/h
Venturi also worked with Citroën to transform the Berlingo range of vehicles. The brand has built some 1,000 motorised units for eleven European markets and the Principality of Monaco. 250 have joined French and Monegasque postal services vehicle parks.
The Monegasque firm has also earned recognition in the world of motor sport. ROKiT Venturi Racing (formerly Venturi Formula-E Team) was the first Formula E team to enter the world championship and is now one of the leaders in the category. For six years, the team Made In Monaco has been duelling with the world’s biggest automotive constructors.