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.
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 two years of stagnation, 2018 was do or die for the TT Zero electric race in terms of forward progress. Before the race even started, the race saw some drama, with Team Mugen’s three-bike strategy having to be rethinked due to news from John McGuinness and Bruce Anstey.
As such, Mugen ultimately would field a two-man team, with Michael Rutter and Lee Johnston on the helm of the Mugen Shinden Nana.
In total, only seven entries would lineup on Glencrutchery road for the TT Zero race, with all eyes wondering if we would finally see a 120 mph lap from the electric bikes.
We broke the story yesterday, but today the news is officially official: Alta Motors will race in the 2018 Ezerberg Rodeo, which is part of the Red Bull Hard Enduro series.
The most grueling and difficult single-day event in motorcycle racing, the Erzberg Rodeo sees 1,500 entires whittled down into what is usually a single-digit summation of race-finishers – and not every year sees a racer cross the finish line – that’s how tough this race is.
Racing for Alta Motors will be Ty Tremaine and Lyndon Poskitt, two riders with a lot of off-road experience.
For those who don’t recognize those names, Tremaine is currently racing with Alta in the 2018 AMA EnduroCross series, meanwhile Poskitt has previously competed in a number of enduro events, including the Ezberg Rodeo, and most notably just soloed the 2018 Dakar Rally to completion.
…and just tell us that you’re racing in the Erzberg Rodeo. ?
For the last week, Alta Motors has been teasing a big announcement on social media, an announcement that features enduro racers Ty Tremaine and Lyndon Poskitt, along with the hashtag #hardenduro.
The news that we should hear officially tomorrow, as our Bothan spies tell us, is that Alta Motors is going racing in the hardest single-day motorcycle race in the world – the Erzberg Rodeo.
Shut out from more traditional competition avenues – like AMA Supercross and Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship – Alta Motors is taking a different tack, and going into the belly beast while they’re at it.
A lot of action has occurred for this year’s Isle of Man TT, and yet not a single bike has circulated the Mountain Course in anger yet.
We saw the unfortunate news that Bruce Anstey would sit out this year of racing, as he starts a new battle with cancer. We also saw John McGuinness jump ship from Honda to Norton, and then join forces with rival Michael Dunlop in the supersport class.
Adding to the news, Team Mugen announced an unheard of three-rider lineup for the TT Zero race, though today we learn that those plans have had to change, with now Lee Johnston and Michael Rutter headlining a two-man team for Mugen.
The cause for this change? John McGuinness re-fracturing his healing leg (14 months after initially breaking it), and thus unable to compete on the electric superbike.
The Bothan Spy Network is strong this week, as we have learned some more about Mugen’s latest TT Zero entry, the Mugen Shinden Nana.
Unveiled to the public at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show, three riders – McGuinness, Johnston, and Anstey – will compete at the Isle of Man TT onboard the Mugen Shinden Nana.
Mugen was tight-lipped on its spec-sheet for the Mugen Shinden Nana though, with the specs for the Nana mimicking those seen on last year’s bike, the Mugen Shinden Roku. That isn’t exactly the case, however.
Yes, Mugen will run its special aerodynamic fairing for the 2018 Isle of Man TT, which is a piece that has been under development for over a year now. But, the Japanese brand has other tricks up its sleeve as well.
We are still about three weeks away from the official unveiling of the Mugen Shinden Nana, the seventh iteration of the Isle of Man TT winning electric superbike, but news is starting to trickle in about this racing effort.
In case you didn’t know, Mugen is looking to make the 2018 Isle of Man TT its fifth-straight victory at the iconic road race, and the chances are very good of that result happening.
This is because with scant competition coming from the other race teams, Mugen is set to race itself again this year, but for 2018 it will be with not one, not two, but three riders on the grid for this year’s TT Zero race, as the company confirmed via Twitter.
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.
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.
Transport is changing, and one of the biggest ways in which it is changing is the shift to electric vehicles. That change is slowly starting to seep into the world of motorcycling as well.
Electric motorcycling manufacturers have sprung up in many places around the globe, though more often than not as tech startups in Silicon Valley rather than as engineering firms from more traditional motorcycling regions.
The more established manufacturers have also started to show an interest. BMW offers an electric scooter, the C Evolution, and KTM sells the Freeride E in three different versions. Slowly but surely, a solid engineering base is starting to form for electric motorcycles.
This change has not gone unnoticed by Dorna. The Spanish firm who run MotoGP is making plans for an electric bike racing series, provisionally scheduled to be starting in 2019.
That is very provisional, however: a lot of work still needs to be done before such a series can take place. Bikes need to be found, and circuits need to be modified to ensure they have the facilities needed to host, and most especially, recharge the bikes ready for racing.
To find out more about what an electric bike series might look like, and how far along the planning stage Dorna is, we spoke with MotoGP Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli.