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.
Dorna has announced a new schedule for the MotoE series, consisting of six races to be held at four European rounds of the MotoGP Championship. The 2019 MotoE series will now kick off in July at the Sachsenring in Germany, followed by a race at the Red Bull Ring in Austria, and double headers at Misano and Valencia.
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.
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.
The retirement of Nicky Hayden’s racing number at the Grand Prix of the Americas wasn’t the only tribute being done for America’s beloved motorcycle racer. This is because on stage at Ducati Island, a special tribute bike was unveiled that remembers the Italian brand’s history with the Kentucky Kid,
The special Ducati Panigale V4 is the work of the folks at MotoCorsa, and it imagines what Nicky’s Ducati MotoGP race bike would look like in street bike form.
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.