The future of MotoGP’s electric racing series is a big question mark, with a fire destroying the MotoE paddock at Jerez last night.
The MotoE championship was going to be the introduction of battery bikes into roadracing’s premiere series, joining MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 at tracks this year, in front of circuits full of fans. The riders would all be on spec machines, built by Energica. Those bikes were at Jerez’s Circuito de Angel Nieto this week, ahead of a test session. Last night, those machines met with disaster.
According to MotoGP’s website, “A fire in the newly-built E-paddock has destroyed the majority of material for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup.” To us that sounds like they’re saying the bikes are burned up.
The immediate implication is that the rest of this weekend’s test obviously isn’t happening (Eric Granado was fastest on Day 1), but what comes next? Can Energica deliver another fleet of machines in time for race season? Maybe—organizers say the series is still going to go ahead, although it’s hard to imagine there won’t be significant changes to the schedule, at the very least.
For now, race series workers are sorting through the damage, but it would be unsurprising if all machines were write-offs, as EV batteries are extremely hard to extinguish when they go ablaze.