The all-electric MotoE World Cup has been officially launched, although racing doesn’t actually start until next year.
The series sponsor will be Italian energy distributor Enel. Enel plans to provide fast-charging stations for the bikes (modified Energica Ego racebikes, as we already mentioned), supposedly topping these bikes’ batteries off in half an hour. Enel is also supposedly working on making the rest of the petrol-powered grid more energy efficient as well, but there’s no word on exactly what that means, if anything.
Races are expected to be 10-lap affairs, with five separate races throughout the MotoGP season, all taking place at European tracks. As battery tech progresses, it’s possible the racers could lay down more laps, but MotoGP officials say the 10-lap race is the standard for now, which likely means the bikes will get a higher top speed or lose weight as batteries improve.
The races will run the same weekend as a standard MotoGP event, with 18 electric motorcycles. Each MotoGP team gets two machines, and there will be four bikes set aside for Moto2 or Moto3 teams who want to race in MotoE. This move pits stars of the feeder series against their peers in the premier event. All the seats will be held by riders who are already participating in the main events, unless some team gets cheeky and adds extra riders to the squad to spare their stars the rigours of electric motorcycle racing.
Race weekends will run just like the other MotoGP series: practice Friday, qualifying Saturday, racing Sunday. There’s no word on where the races will fit into Sunday’s schedule, whether before or after the other series race, which is significant; the events of those races will certainly impact what happens in MotoE.
Michelin, of course, will be the spec tire supplier; all bikes will bear Enel’s logo, and the racers’ leathers will also have Enel’s branding.