Isle of Man: Team Saroléa - Chasing The Dream To Be The World’s Fastest Electric Superbike
Last Updated: 29 April 2015

Leading Isle of Man based law firm DQ has announced its principal sponsorship of one of the World's most exciting electric superbike brands, Saroléa, as it "chases the dream" in its mission to smash the TT Zero record in 2015 with its latest SP7 motorcycle.

The TT Zero is an all electric motorcycle race which is an official event in the world famous Isle of Man TT races (held over two weeks in May/June each year). Each year 40,000 - 50,000 visitors descend upon the Isle of Man to enjoy this unique motorsport festival.

DQ is the only non-motorcycle industry firm to become a major financial supporter of Saroléa in this ambitious project. Other sponsors include Bridgestone, the World's largest tyre manufacturer.

Commenting on how this exciting new partnership with Belgian racing team Saroléa came about, DQ's managing partner Tom Maher said:

"I was a guest of the TT Zero race sponsor in 2014 and was fortunate enough to have an 'access all areas' pass for the start line, garages and winners' enclosure. After spotting TT legends John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey pass me on their Honda bikes at the start line of the TT Zero race, I noticed the Saroléa bike (ridden by Robert Wilson) and could see the clear passion and determination in the eyes of each member of the team. The sense of expectation, nerves and excitement was palpable.

"As the race finished, the Saroléa bike was directed into the winners' enclosure to take 3rd place, behind the two Honda bikes. This was an amazing achievement for a small private racing team taking on the might of Team Mugen with Honda's mega multi million pound budgets and global name.

"I spoke to Torsten Robbens, Saroléa team principal, just after he was interviewed by Radio TT and Craig Doyle from ITV about the team's superb result. I realised how much the team had invested professionally and personally in the project when I saw Saroléa's Peter van Lievenoogen hugging the front wheel of the bike with tears of joy. A podium finish in the TT Zero was the holy grail for Saroléa.

"However, what happened next (and I witnessed it from 5 feet away) can only be described as heartbreaking. A marshal came in to the winner's enclosure (20 minutes after Saroléa was ushered in there to join the two Mugen Honda bikes) to tell Saroléa that there was a mistake and that an American team had actually finished 3rd and that Saroléa had finished 4th. Sarolea missed out on the podium by 3/10ths of a second. I cannot begin to imagine what an emotional rollercoaster that 20 minutes was for the Saroléa guys.

"What I realised there and then, though, was that Saroléa was a team made up of exceptionally talented and committed individuals who dedicated themselves to the pursuit of excellence and achievement against the odds. This resonated with me on a personal and professional level and I reached out to Torsten to discuss what we could do together. Back in 2007, when Mark Dougherty and I spoke about creating DQ, we realised that we wanted to be different, to challenge convention and to provide legal services in a dynamic, fresh and innovative way. I am thrilled that Torsten and his Saroléa team agreed to partner with DQ and to allow us to join them in their quest to realise their dream. From our perspective, DQ is delighted to align our brand with the dynamic, innovative and creative excellence of Torsten and his entire team at Saroléa.

"We kicked off our public partnership with Saroléa at the Brussels Auto Salon in January 2015 where Prince Laurent (the brother of King Philippe of Belgium) and the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel visited the Saroléa stand to admire the SP7. DQ management team members Paul Blake and Jo Hill attended the VIP event in Brussels with the Saroléa team."

Torsten Robbens expressed his enthusiasm for the new partnership with DQ, stating:

"All of us at Team Saroléa are delighted that DQ has provided not only financial sponsorship, but also passion and enthusiasm in joining with us in our record breaking quest at the TT Zero 2015. It is fantastic to be in partnership with a team that shares our vision of success through dedication, hard work and commitment and we look forward to a long association with DQ."

Saroléa pedigree and history

Team Saroléa brings back to life the name and pedigree of Belgium's first domestic motorcycle manufacturer and one of the first producers of motorcycles in the world. 2014 was the first time in over 50 years that the famous Saroléa name was seen in competition. The original Saroléa factory was first opened in Belgium in 1850 as a weapons manufacturer, before founder Joseph Saroléa entered the world of bicycle design in 1892. The company later diversified into the production of motorcycles and components, and in its heyday Saroléa was producing up to 75 machines per day, before finally shutting down in 1963.

The Saroléa name disappeared until 2010 when racing team manager and entrepreneur Torsten Robbens purchased the rights to Saroléa and drew upon his considerable racing pedigree to resurrect the brand. The youngest Team Manager ever to win the Le Mans 24 Hours, with 10 years' experience in Formula 1, Torsten's long list of achievements renders him as one of the most celebrated figures in the world of motorsport, and includes such honourable mentions as Team Manager for Audi Sport Japan team Goh, winner of the Spa 1000km and the Le Mans 1000km, and lead designer of the Saroléa SP7.

Photo shows from L to R Bjorn Robbens; Torsten Robbens; Billy Robertson; Robert Wilson ; Bram Vergote; Peter van Lievenoogen; Koen Van Rengen; Hugo Robbens; Bert Robbens

SP7 all new 2015 model

First unveiled for the 2014 TT Zero, the new Saroléa SP7 electric superbike has returned for 2015 as one of the fastest and most innovative on the track, bringing a new dimension to electric superbike racing. With its bullet fairing and aggressively angled, bump-stop seat, the SP7 takes a number of visual cues from both ultramodern superbikes and their classic predecessors to create a striking profile akin to that of the world-famous Manx Norton. The bike will again be raced by experienced TT rider Robert Wilson (see photo below).

With a brand new engine for 2015, the SP7 impresses at every level. A 150 kilowatt engine with a tarmac tearing 900 Nm of torque will see the SP7 reach a top speed of 270km/h and hit 100km/h from a standing start in just 2.8 seconds. Indeed, the Saroléa team has already achieved a number of milestones with the SP7, including becoming the fastest new stock manufacturer of the TT Zero 2014. Goals for 2015 include setting the record for electric motorcycles at the world famous Nürburgring in Germany and becoming only the third constructor in the world to break the "Ton" on the Isle of Man.

DQ is a leading offshore law firm based in the Isle of Man advising on Isle of Man and BVI law. The firm has an international reputation for its speed and quality of service and its lawyers are recommended as leading individuals in key industry publications such as Chambers and Legal 500. In the latest Chambers Global 2015 guide, DQ has half of the Band 1 (top tier) corporate & finance lawyers in the Isle of Man.

To find out more about team Saroléa and DQ's record breaking attempt, visit sarolea-racing.com.

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