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I would start with some grandiose phrase - "this weekend we witnessed history in the making" - but the reality is that there have been several attempts already to achieve what the MotoE World Cup sets to undertake.

Electric motorcycle racing has been in the nexus for almost a decade now, and if we are frank, the progress has been tough.

TTXGP, FIM ePower, TT Zero - there are achievements to each of these efforts, but none have been able to create a product that is on par with their petrol-powered counterparts.

So while we have been here before, with a new series dedicated to racing electric motorcycles, there is a chance that we have seen history in the making, because the MotoE World Cup shows signs of life...and it shows how a new racing series can be launched in the 21st century.

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Coming weekend, history will be made. For the first time, Grand Prix racing will welcome vehicles not powered by internal combustion engines, as the MotoE series makes its debut at the Sachsenring. It is the very first step on the long path toward a future where batteries replace burning hydrocarbons.

But the series got off to a rocky start, even before the first race. At the second test of the electric bike racing series, a fire started in the special tent containing all of the bikes, batteries, and chargers, destroying everything and wiping out the entire series in one fell swoop.

Since March, Nicolas Goubert, director of the MotoE series for Dorna, Energica, who build the spec electric bikes to be raced in the series, and Enel, who supply the charging technology to maintain the bikes, have worked at double speed to rebuild everything needed for the series, and get it ready for the inaugural race at the Sachsenring.

In Le Mans, I spoke at length to Goubert about the progress made in preparing the series, the challenges they had faced, and the lessons learned from the fire in Jerez. The fire highlighted some of the difficulties of an electric bike series, but just staging the series raises logistical and technical issues which nobody had foreseen.

Here is part 2 of the interview. If you want to read part 1, catch it here.

Coming weekend, history will be made. For the first time, Grand Prix racing will welcome vehicles not powered by internal combustion engines, as the MotoE series makes its debut at the Sachsenring. It is the very first step on the long path toward a future where batteries replace burning hydrocarbons.

But the series got off to a rocky start, even before the first race. At the second test of the electric bike racing series, a fire started in the special tent containing all of the bikes, batteries, and chargers, destroying everything and wiping out the entire series in one fell swoop.

Since March, Nicolas Goubert, director of the MotoE series for Dorna; Energica, who build the spec electric bikes to be raced in the series; and Enel, who supply the charging technology to maintain the bikes, have worked at double speed to rebuild everything needed for the series, and get it ready for the inaugural race at the Sachsenring.

In Le Mans, I spoke at length to Goubert about the progress made in preparing the series, the challenges they had faced, and the lessons learned from the fire in Jerez.

The fire highlighted some of the difficulties of an electric bike series, but just staging the series raises logistical and technical issues which nobody had foreseen.

Here is part 1 of the interview. Part 2 will follow tomorrow:

It was just a month ago that we watched the MotoE paddock at Jerez burn down to the ground, torching effectively all of the bikes and material that were to be used in the all-electric series.

This was a major setback for the FIM MotoE World Cup series, and unsurprisingly the incident caused the complete revision of the series’ calendar.

The series says that single-bike provider Energica is on track to rebuild in just three months the 18 electric motorcycles that were burned in the flames. This means a new six-round calendar that starts in July in Germany, rather than Spain.

Today, we get our first indication of when we will see the MotoE bikes testing in earnest, as the FIM has announced a pre-season test at Valencia in June.

Regular Asphalt & Rubber readers will know that we love to support the Two Wheels for Life charity, which helps bring medical resources and healthcare by motorcycle to remote areas in Africa. This is literally a cause that sees motorcycles making the world a better place.

The official charity of the MotoGP Championship, Two Wheels for Life has created an awesome opportunity for race fans at this year’s American GP, and we are pretty stoked to share it with you.

Basically, the whole package includes the opportunity to ride an Energica Ego Corsa MotoE race bike in front of the crowd at the Grand Prix of the Americas, along with paddock passes, grid access, pit lane access, and hospitality for two people for the race weekend.

And of course, the proceeds go to helping fund the vital work that Two Wheels for Life does in Africa.

It was a grim sight in the early hours of today, as the MotoE paddock that had been erected in Jerez burned to the ground. A shared space for all the MotoE World Cup teams and riders, word from Spain is that the flames engulf all of the Energica Ego Corsa race bikes for this years series.

The damage will obviously mean that the opening round of the series, which was set to be at Jerez, will not occur, but Dorna says that the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will take place this year, despite today’s setback. 

A calendar for the later race dates will be released, most likely when Dorna and Energica (the single-spec bike provider) can figure out how long it will take to build the 20 or so race bikes that the series needs. From what we hear, the last motorcycles for the MotoE series were just delivered to Dorna a few weeks ago.

The FIM is ready to give this electric motorcycle racing thing another try, and this time around the governing body has tapped Dorna (media rights holder to MotoGP & WorldSBK) to handle the details. As such, the MotoE World Cup was created.

Set to take place during five European grand prix rounds, MotoE will rely on teams already in the MotoGP paddock. Those teams will campaign the Energica Evo Corse electric superbike, which is very similar to the road-going version, sans 45 lbs of street-legal bulk.

We have yet to see the names of riders who will be on the spec 160hp machines, but the series of sprint races should prove to be an interesting spectacle for the fans in attendance, with a plethora of bikes banging handlebars each lap (albeit, quietly).

After announcing the 2019 FIM MotoE World Cup roughly a year ago, details have been slow to emerge about this electric motorcycle series, which will run in parallel to the MotoGP Championship.

Late last year we learned that Italian firm Energica had won the contract to supply MotoE with race bikes, which would be based off the Energica Ego production superbike, and now today we learn a little bit more about this fledgling series.

In a press event announcing Enel as the title sponsor (more on that in a minute), Dorna and the FIM laid out the basics for MotoE, in terms of teams, bikes, tracks, and race format.

Interesting developments on the EV side of the motorcycle industry, as Energica & Dell’Orto have decided to team up on making electric drivetrain systems for small and mid-sized motorcycles.

The move does not mean that Energica is about to burgeon its lineup with smaller electric motorcycles, but instead it means that Energica will follow Dell’Orto’s lead as a product supplier for other OEMs.

We came to Jerez expecting records. A new surface with most of the bumps removed meant the bikes were always going to be quicker around the track. A weekend of stable weather conditions promised ideal conditions for realizing unbelievably quick laps around the track.

And a field which is closer than ever ramps up the pressure on the riders to extract the absolute maximum from their bikes. In FP3, for example, there were 16 riders within a second, and the gap between Andrea Dovizioso in fourth and Pol Espargaro in thirteenth was precisely two tenths of a second.