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Bad news for electric motorcycle race fans, as the organizers of the Isle of Man TT have announced that they will no longer hold the TT Zero event for the 2020 and 2021 editions of the iconic road race.

The Isle of Man’s Department of Enterprise says in a press release that it has become “increasingly challenging” to run the electric class and to find competitors for it each year.

Of course, anyone watching the TT Zero race will see that the only promising entries came from the Mugen team, that the starting grids were single-digits in number, and that both factors made for lackluster viewing.

The last lap of last weekend’s Moto2 race remains controversial. Augusto Fernandez ran wide at Turn 11 in Misano, and used that space to get a run on Fabio Di Giannantonio into Turn 14, passing the Italian to take victory. The Speed Up team appealed the decision, but eventually it was upheld.

That decision did not sit well inside the paddock, however. At the pre-event press conference for the Aragon round on Thursday, Marc Marquez said the riders intended to raise the issue in the Safety Commission.

It looks like the folks at Energica have been busy for the 2020 model year, as we get some spy shots of their updated models, courtesy of our friends at the Italian Moto.it website.

The bikes were caught near Verona, which is about an hour north of Energica’s Modena headquarters, and though the Ego and EsseEsse9 that were spotted seem similar to previous models, there are some subtle differences that we can see.

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.

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.

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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