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.
As such, Dorna envisions 10-lap races for the MotoE World Cup, with little desire to increase the race distance as the series continues beyond its 2019 start date.
This is so that as the performance of the electric motorcycles increases, so does the spectacle, rather than trying to cram more laps into a race.
For the inaugural season, five races will take place (locations TBD), all of which will be at European rounds for the MotoGP Championship. This is no coincidence, as Dorna and the FIM hope to use the attention of MotoGP to propel electric motorcycle racing into the public consciousness.
This is also an important aspect, as the 18-bike grid will be filled by current grand prix teams. To fill those grid spots, each of the seven independent MotoGP teams will be provided with two bikes, with the four remaining machines to be slotted into Moto2 or Moto3 teams who chose to enter MotoE.
This bike allotment is likely Dorna’s killer app for the MotoE World Cup, as it ensures that recognizable names, teams, and brands will be found on the MotoE grid, which provides not only legitimacy to the series, but also helps engage already existing fan bases.
Practice sessions will take place on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and the races will occur on Sunday – mimicking the current GP schedule. The first pre-season test is set to take place at Jerez, later this month.
Michelin will continue as a single-tire supplier in the GP paddock, providing rubber to the MotoE teams. Enel, the title sponsor for the series, will also be on-hand to help with charging the electric motorcycles.
The partnership with Enel is actually quite extensive, with the Italian electric company providing fast-charging stations to the MotoE paddock, as well as green energy supply/storage on-site at the five MotoE venues.
Enel will also be working with the MotoGP Championship to make the thermic motorcycle paddock more energy efficient.
On the technical side of things, Dorna says that Enel will also employ a battery-equiped mobile charger at the MotoE races, which will recharge the machines in less than 30 minutes.
That might be a tall order though, with Dorna boasting the Energica Ego race bikes could have up to 50 kWh of battery on board (roughly double of what we see from the 550+ lbs TT Zero bikes), which is dubious claim in its own right.
Still, the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup is likely to push electric motorcycle racing firmly into the public consciousness, with Dorna and the FIM effectively leveraging the success of the MotoGP Championship to launch the new series.
The big question though: will the racing be any good? As always, time will tell.