The first, five-race MotoE World Cup will launch in 2019, with 18 bikes competing on custom Energica EgoGPs
While automakers and transport authorities around the world have looked to capitalise on the advantages of electrification, in many cases motorsport has been slow to follow.
However, with Formula E now well established and rumours circling of an electric rallycross championship on the way, motorcycling may be the next sector to make the leap. On February 6 MotoGP announced the launch of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup. Backed by Dorna Sports and energy utility Enel, this will form a new class of races under the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship events, beginning in 2019.
“Today we are thrilled to announce our partnership with Enel as the official title sponsor for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, as well as being the ‘sustainable power partner’ of MotoGP – a technical partner we look forward to working with in this new venture,” said Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta at the launch event.
Races in the series are slated to last 10 laps, although this will kept static as battery and bike performance increase to “improve out-and-out performance rather than increase the lap count of races,” MotoGP said.
The bikes themselves will be based on the Italian Energica EGO all-electric motorcycle. Commercially available in three models, racing teams will use a tuned version dubbed the EgoGP. According to Energica, R&D is already underway as its team focus on driveability on the track and track specifications. A testing program will be held during the 2018 MotoGP™ World Championship.
According to its specifications, the EgoGP should put about 110kW and top out at 155mph. Battery capacity has yet to be decided, but the models will include DC fast charging based on CCS Combo. Energica says this is the only electric bike in the world to recharge from 0 to 80% in about 20 minutes.
Michelin will be the sole tyre supplier for the event.
2019 will see five races held across five of the European circuits on the MotoGP calendar, compared with 19 for the existing sport. The organisers note that “this leaves huge scope for MotoE™ in the future” with races beginning in Europe with a view to growing worldwide.
Practice sessions will take place on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and races on Sunday.
18 bikes will compete in each race. Each of the the seven existing MotoGP Independent Teams – Tech3, LCR, Marc VDS, Pramac, Avintia, Angel Nieto and Gresini – will field two each, while a further four will be available to teams drawn from the Moto2 and Moto3 series who choose to enter riders. Riders will be contracted by the teams and will be required to have sufficient motorcycle racing experience to ensure the championship gets off to a competitive start.
The first official test for riders and teams is scheduled to take place at the Circuito de Jerez in February 2019, before the first MotoE season begins.
Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta explains more about MotoE and the brand’s future in a video interview on the MotoGP site.