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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.

I had planned on sharing these photos with you at a much earlier date, and now with the fire at the MotoE paddock in Jerez, it feels a bit macabre.

But, on the same token, the moment for electric motorcycles seems never more ready for a pivot, and we would be remiss to share an opportunity to examine one of the more high-level efforts in greater detail.

As such, I bring you details on what is beneath the fairings on the Energica Ego electric superbike.

In a few minutes, I will be getting back on a plane to the United States, after having spent some time with the folks at Energica in Modena, Italy. There is a lot to say about this electric motorcycle company from Italy, so keep an eye out for those stories, but I wanted to whet your appetites with this machine, the Energica Ego Corsa.

The racing version of the company’s electric superbike, the Energica Ego Corsa is the consumer model to what the Grand Prix paddock will be racing in the new MotoE World Cup, which will see 18 riders from 11 teams battling it out in sprint races at 5 venues on the MotoGP calendar.

With some big names on the bikes (Sete Gibernau, Randy de Puniet, Bradley Smith, and more) the spec-series should have some close and hard-fought races. I think the electric series is going to surprise some race fans, and start making some petrol heads into EV freaks…but that is a different story.

Episode 88 of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and in it we see David Emmett, Neil Morrison, and Steve English on the mics, as we cover the Jerez Tests in Spain.

The post-season test saw a bevy of classes out on the track getting ready for the 2019 season. First up, the guys tackle the MotoGP paddock, which takes a good portion of the show.

The conversation then turns to the WorldSBK paddock, which took to Jerez once the GP boys were done. The show then concludes with a testing report from the Moto2 and MotoE classes, as they start a new era of racing next year.

Ducati's announcement that it is making its final production run of the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition got me thinking this week. This could be the very last v-twin superbike from the Italian brand, making it a true "Final Edition" motorcycle? It certainly appears so.

Right now, the Italian marque is betting its superbike future on the V4 platform, which means it could be another 5 years or longer (10 years could be a reasonable number, even) before Ducati debuts its next superbike platform.

What do we imagine that motorcycle will look like? Where do we imagine the motorcycle industry will be in the next five to ten years? That future isn't too far away, but the answer is still hard to fathom.

Can we really see a future where Ducati builds another v-twin engine? Understand, the Superquadro motor is the pinnacle of v-twin design, and pushes the limits of what kind of power such an engine configuration can create.

This is the very reason that Ducati abandoned the Superquadro v-twin design for the Desmosedici Stradale V4. That is a big deal in Ducatista land, but it is a notable move for the motorcycle industry as a whole.

So, the thought experiment evolves from this, and we begin to wonder what is not only in store for a brand like Ducati, whose history is rooted in a particular engine design, but also what is in store for the other brands of the motorcycle industry, who have been tied to thermic engines for over a century.

For the Japanese brands, the hand that holds that future has been tipped, with turbocharged and supercharged designs teased by three out of the Big Four manufacturers. We have even see Kawasaki bringing its own supercharged motorcycles already to market already.

But, is this really the future? Or, is this resurgence of forced induction for motorcycles dead on arrival?

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Energica is making big moves for the 2019 model year, and they are getting ready to announce them this weekend in New York, at the next installment of the International Motorcycle Show.

Giving a taste of the news to come however, Energica tells us that sizable price cuts are going to feature on its range of electric sport bikes.

The Italian brand also has a number of dealerships coming to the USA for next year, helping bolster its presence in this important market.

Lastly, fresh on the news that Energica will be supplying bikes to the MotoE World Cup, we will see track-focused kits for the Ego superbike coming from the company.