In recent months, the FIM and Dorna have been pushing ahead with the planned FIM Moto-e World Cup for the 2019 season, and today the electric motorcycle racing series took a serious step forward, as it was announced that Energica will provide the spec race bikes for Moto-e.
As such, teams competing in the inaugural season of the FIM Moto-e World Cup series will race on modified versions of the Energica Ego street bike model, which will presumably use the production model’s 134hp PMAC motor, and will almost certainly be lighter than the bike’s 570 lbs curb weight.
With Energica being owned by the CRP Group, a highly regarded engineering firm in Italy’s motor valley, the company’s ties to Formula 1 and other racing ventures certainly played to Energica’s strengths in the bidding process.
In our talking to Dorna, it was very clear that using a production platform as the series’ base was an important element to the selection process, with a desire to have what was on the race track being very similar to what was available to the public.
It is true that other electric motorcycle efforts were considered, like Sarolea out of Belgium and Lightning Motorcycles out of the USA, both of whom actually have racing experience, albeit with mixed results.
The selection of Energica over these other entries seems to suggest that while the Italian brand hasn’t been testing its mettle in competition, its efforts to create a dealer network and customer sales outweighed the mercurial fortunes of the other brands on the race track.
Going forward, the plan is for the FIM Moto-e Cup to eventually become an open series, allowing other brands to compete. Though, it is not clear what the timeframe is on that plan, as it is likely contingent on what’s happening in the electric motorcycle from a consumer perspective.
Right now however, Dorna’s biggest concern is that the disparity between different manufacturer entires would make for an uninteresting racing spectacle – something we have seen in the Isle of Man’s TT Zero race. As such, the focus has been on making the sprint races evenly matched, and worth watching.
“The FIM Moto-e World Cup is a new and exciting project for Dorna, and it makes us very proud to announce Energica will be the supplier in this new venture,” said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta.
“We believe in excellence, quality and performance and we cannot think of a better collaborator with whom to launch the FIM Moto-e World Cup. Energica are an industry-leading and innovative company and we look forward to the incredible spectacle of electric-powered racing together.”
We rode the Energica Ego back in 2014, and found the Italian sport bike to be well-crafted from a engineering point of view, with good power delivery, top-of-the line components, and strong technical points to its electric drivetrain.
And while the Energica Ego is a bit…limited in terms of appearance; from a racing perspective, its biggest drawback will certainly be its unyielding weight.
Dorna seemingly has a plan for this, and as such, we expect to see different configurations of the Ego’s battery pack (11.7 kWh on the street model) at the different race tracks throughout the season – to help slim the Ego down in size, and make it faster around the race course.
With Dorna hoping to entice some of the top teams and riders from the GP paddock to race in the FIM Moto-e Cup, the series is off to an interesting start. It will be interesting to see how it progresses as more details become concrete.