“Gentlemen start your engines!”

The irony of this statement was not lost on The ONE Pro crowd witnessing the first-ever Electrical National flat track race because the electric motorcycles were indeed silently fired up and ready to go. Spearheaded by Zero Motorcycles and See See Motorcycles in conjunction with the The ONE Moto Show, the race consisted of pro level riders including Sammy Halbert, Davis Fisher, Andy DiBrino and Cory West. Five of the racers competed on Zero FXS motorcycles while DiBrino rode Blatant Moto’s Alta-powered electric framer. One other Alta electric dirt bike rounded out the grid. The 12-lap race was a winner-take-all dash for cash with a big wad of one dollar bills on the line, $1,000 of them to be exact.

As riders crowded the starting line, the race emcee continued the electric jests with “Probably the only riders that can hear our starter down there.”

When the flag dropped, DiBrino shot out like a rocket up the inside line to snag the holeshot. Trevor Doniak also got a solid start from the middle to slot into second place while AMA Pro Flat Track rider Halbert took the wide line to third. A lap later, Doniak ran up the inside of DiBrino and bumped him out wide, and though both riders recovered, Halbert had slipped into the lead and would never look back. After that point, first, second, and third were pretty much set the rest of the race as Halbert, Doniak and Cory West settled into rhythm. The usual cacophony of angry motorcycle exhausts was replaced by the whizzing sound of short bursts of electric power before riders decelerated and dove into the tight turns.  And while the first three positions were locked down early, there was a battle for fourth and fifth as DiBrino and Davis Fisher tangled after DiBrino had fought his way back to the pack.

The track in the middle of Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum had been constructed from truckloads of dirt just a couple days prior to the race and conditions were challenging as bumps and ruts formed in corners. But as West said matter-of-factly, “Everybody’s gotta race on the same dirt.” When the checkered flag waved, Halbert had written his name in the history books as the first winner of a national-level electric flat track race. Doniak was fast and fluid to finish in second place with West grabbing the final spot on the podium. Post-race, Halbert celebrated by ripping off a couple electric donuts in the infield to the delight of the crowd, but it definitely didn’t quite have the impact of the standard obnoxious celebratory smoky burnout.

Afterwards, racers took to Instagram posting about the first-ever Electric National.

Sammy Halbert takes the checkered flag at the Electric National. 

“Zipped my way to the win at the @zeromotorcycles electric “national” at @the1moto.” – Sammy Halbert

Doniak (499) chased Halbert the whole race but there was no catching the wicked-fast pro. 

“I want to give a big thank you to @zeromotorcycles for letting me participate in the first electric national flat track race at #theonemotoshow2020. I had a great time racing and ended up 2nd in the main event behind @sammyhalbert and 3rd went to @corywest13.” – Trevor Doniak

Cory West looks for the fastest line through the bumpy corners. 

“It’s been a looong time since I’ve lined up for an indoor flattrack race. Glad I can still do the stanky leg 😂 Thanks again @zeromotorcycles for having me out for @the1moto show!” – Cory West

Before the race, I bumped into West and asked what the biggest difference was racing his electric flat track bike to which he stated, "Getting used to the power delivery because it’s like flipping a light switch.”

DiBrino's Blatant Moto electric framer was fire! 

“Also had a blast racing the @blatantmoto Alta in the Electric National! I won the heat (out of the entire class) and was leading the main for a short bit before getting slammed back to last. But I worked my way back up to 4th after a fun battle with @davisfisher67.” – Andy DiBrino

Doniak, meet DiBrino. DiBrino, meet Doniak!

In regards to that “slamming” DiBrino added “@sammyhalbert funny part is I couldn’t hear him coming in on me until contact was made 😂 damn electric bikes. I could hear @davisfisher67 screaming the entire time we battled tho!!”

By all measures the premiere electric national flat track race was a triumphant feat. The crowd was engaged, racing was entertaining, and the bikes were fast. So fast, See See Motorcycles commented to Halbert that “Someone told me the electric race had the fastest lap times.” Did people attending The ONE Pro Races witness the future of flat track? Only time will tell, but based on the Electric National's success, the switch has been flipped and more electric flat track races will certainly follow.