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Dorna Announces FIM MotoE World Cup to Begin Racing in 2019


Earlier today in Rome, The MotoGP promoter Dorna Sports announced a new racing series to commence in 2019 featuring electric motorcycles, specifically the Energica Ego. The title sponsor is the firm Enel, and there will be 18 bikes on the grid. Here are details from Dorna:

Why MotoE™?

There are currently more than a billion vehicles on Earth. If the rate of growth within the mobility sector continues increasing as it has, that number could rise to three billion vehicles within the next thirty years. This sharply increases the need for sustainable mobility and is driving manufacturers towards more economically friendly solutions. Of those, one of the most important is the dawn of electric mobility.

This is why Dorna Sports will launch the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup in 2019. Rooted in cutting edge technology, the zero-emissions series aims to take alternative vision of racing onto the track. Competing as a new class at FIM MotoGP™ World Championship events, MotoE™ will be a globally visible example of high-octane yet zero-emission motorsport – benefitting from MotoGP™’s state-of-the-art TV production and substantial communication platform.

Dorna is also analysing how to reduce carbon emissions generated by the infrastructure and logistical demands of MotoGP™.

Races, teams and riders

Races

Races are proposed as 10 laps in duration. Any evolution achieved in terms of the bike or power will be used to improve out-and-out performance rather than increase the lap count of races.

In 2019, five races will be held at five of the European circuits on the MotoGP™ calendar. This leaves huge scope for MotoE™ in the future; beginning in Europe with a view to growing worldwide.

Practice sessions will take place on Friday, qualifying on Saturday and races on Sunday.

Before the inaugural MotoE™ season begins, the first official test for riders and teams is scheduled to take place at the Circuito de Jerez in February 2019.

Teams

There will be 18 bikes competing, distributed to teams as follows:

  • Each of the seven MotoGP™ Independent Teams will receive two bikes
  • Four bikes will be provided for Moto2™ and Moto3™ teams who choose to enter

Riders

Riders will be contracted by the teams and will be required to have sufficient experience in the world of two-wheeled racing – creating an incredible level of competition from the outset.

The sound

The sound of MotoGP™ is unique, and even the sound of each MotoGP™ bike is unique. MotoE™ will similarly have its own unique sound, which will be very different to the noise of the premier class of Grand Prix racing. Electric bikes are quieter, but also allow fans to hear the sounds that would normally be lost in the roar of an engine.

The sound of the machines slicing through the air and the squeal of the tyres – which fans can hear with MotoE™ – are a completely different way to experience racing.

Michelin – the sole tyre supplier

Michelin will be the sole tyre supplier for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup. The French marque, who also supply the premier class of Grand Prix racing, share the values of the Cup perfectly – focused on the sport, competition and incredible opportunities for technological advancement and development.

 

39 Comments

  1. Mugwump says:

    I’ve seen the older ones race at Indy. I’m looking forward to it. The more the merrier. The short course is set by time constraints.

  2. Stuki Moi says:

    Big track road racing doesn’t strike me as E-bikes’ forte.

    What I’d really like to see, is inner city, Urban E-supermoto (much lower noise and smells than traditional SuMos.) As in most things in the US, the only thing standing in the way, is our societal obsession with paying ridiculous tribute to leeching ambulance chasers. Other than that, a 30 minute session at the Sumo Track at the top floor of a parking structure, on bikes perfectly suited for tight cart tracks, would be quite the enjoyable way to spend ones lunch break. While making for better riders. And more visibility, hence more riders. Hence more rider friendly road and rule planning etc….

  3. randy says:

    I just read Zero below Zero. It was a gift from Aerostitch with an order. If I had a commute, I would love to have an electric bike. VERY low maintenance, no warm up, no gas station, outrageous torque. I wouldn’t want to see ’em race, especially a spec class. They could be much faster eventually, especially on a tight track. They’re a much more natural fit for traction control than ICE. Unfortunately, most of the appeal of racing (to me) is the diversity of engine noise. Unfortunately (again) none of it is enough to deal with a cable companies or stare at a screen for more than a minute or two.

  4. KenLee says:

    Distance on battery is most important disadvantage of e-bikes, but Dorna is not interested in longer races… They should rather be onest and say, there are no real option for such development within technologies available today. Maybe tomorrow, but not quite sure about it.

  5. fred says:

    I test rode the new Zero DSR, and it was a pretty impressive street ride. Nobody home after about 75mph, but acceleration in the 25-50mph range was amazing, almost brutal.

    Watching eBikes racing in person might not be exciting, but I suspect it will be almost as good TV viewing as gas bikes.

    As for Formula E, I find it boring, much like current Formula 1. I was a big F1 fan years ago, but either I got old, or the racing deteriorated, or both.

    eBikes are not a good value currently, but racing may help turn that around.

  6. Crazyjoe says:

    Some people have the money to have a “stable” but why an electric bike as your one and only? Maybe racing these things will bring about good things like quick charging capacitors but for us wanting go more green does racing tech transfer to the street? I think a hybrid would be a better choice maybe not a two wheel Prius but it doesn’t have to be born on thr track. A plug in would be good to get you gas free commutes and when the need arises you can iron butt as far as you can handle.

    Can they build a hybrid bike with a supple ride of a Tahoe, 80 mpg, and 0-60 in 5 seconds and a range of 250 miles? I really don’t need sub 2 second times.

    Sorry about the Tahoe reference but I don’t know many bikes that don’t make you wish you had access to narcotics after a long ride.

    • Roadrash1 says:

      All Good points Joe.
      I think the tech will advance quickly, and there will be hybrids and other options.
      I like the idea of green, but it’s not my main issue. My demo on the Zero S was an eye-opening experience. And as much as I enjoyed it, I fully realize it’s not for everyone!

    • fred says:

      CJ, your comment about narcotics and long rides says a lot more about you than about motorcycles. Lots of us have taken long motorcycle rides on a variety of bikes, and have been just fine, and ready to do it again the next day.

      • CrazyJoe says:

        Why do they sell sprung seats and air suspensions? Your right it’s me.And that in tolerably hot engine is nothing to complain about its actually like sitting on a block of ice.

  7. ROXX says:

    Now we get tire management AND battery management.
    I’ll be flipping over to MotoAmerica during that segment.

  8. Roadrash1 says:

    I’m gonna be 57 in a couple weeks. Been riding since I was 12.
    Trail bikes, motocross and hare scrambles racing, and lots of time on street bikes.

    I’m going to add a new Zero SR to my fleet this Spring. I’ll use it for my daily commute. My daily commute is 80 miles.
    I tried a Zero S a couple years ago. I’m embracing the future, while still enjoying my petrol bikes. It doesn’t have to be an either or thing…

  9. Oilhead says:

    What are the chances of FIM eventually allowing 2-wheel drive MotoE bikes? With the most effective braking at the front, it seems e-braking from the front wheel to be beneficial. And with traction assist, low siding from exits could be less likely. On another note, any guesses whom will be these riders “contracted by the teams”?

    • Bart says:

      Wouldn’t have to be 2WD to go for regen braking. The problem is e-braking is non-linear function, is difficult to manage with feed back. Maybe ABS function could overlay, but it is more difficult to control. Charging rate limits plays a part too. The copper from the front brake can only be so big. Think welding cable size currents.

      Or maybe I’m just not comfortable with trail braking into a turn 1 situation on electronic-only brakes! (Old school hydraulic rider)

      • guu says:

        Also on cars regenerative braking is more for green credentials than real charging for the reasons you mentioned. Even trains don’t feed back energy from braking. Bikes are/would be better of without the added weight, complexity and reduced braking performance.

  10. MotoMaster39 says:

    This series will be the only game in town soon enough, but the sound of a racebike is one of my favorite aspects of racing. My PS4 makes cool electronic sounds too.. No need to go to the races now.

  11. Sam says:

    Look up electric motorcycles 1/4 mile racing on YouTube and you will be amazed. If the EPA has it’s way, fuel burning, just for fun or sport may become extinct:( They almost have closed down some 1/4 mile race tracks already.

  12. Michael P. says:

    More racing classes the better to me, if it’s something I don’t like, I can watch something else. As an owner of an electric bike, I see myself watching but that might change once the flag drops. I’ve watched the Formula-E races on a few occasions and thought they were pretty neat but not overly exciting, I think once the e bikes start battling, I’ll be hooked. I’m glad they are looking at pure speed out of these bikes vs longer range, no one wants to see a tamed down slow electric bike run for 20 laps, gimme 5-10 with a bike that makes 300+ ft lbs of torque!

  13. Jeremy in TX says:

    I’m actually pretty excited about this series. It will be interesting to see how many laps the races are.

    • mickey says:

      Well doesn’t a MotoGP track average about 3 miles? IOM e bike technology which proved an ebike can run at least 37 miles would indicate you could run a 12 lap + race.

  14. Bart says:

    Not sure why they went with just one manufacturer, that’s gonna be like stock cars, all the same except the paint. Would be more interesting with different bike makers.

    I was close to the Czysz E1pc electric racebike during its development, showed me that they can be exciting, the thing would whistle onto the straightaway like an approaching jet fighter!

  15. mickey says:

    Can’t wait to hear the Ducati electric bike going down the back straight lol

    • Trpldog says:

      I’m too deaf to hear ’em now.

    • mickey says:

      Seriously… This may be good for battery development. Put 2 guys on batteries and one of them is going to figure out how to get more out of it than the other guy. Human nature. Can only be good for the sport.

  16. Honyock says:

    Optimized electrical motorcycles, with their theoretical max torque at 0 RPM, the as yet unrealized advantages of regenerative braking, and race strategies emphasizing energy conservation will change the way we ride motorcycles. I like the idea of having the deep pockets make the big mistakes for the rest of us. And we can hear the .wav files of the sounds of our favorite bikes (and rants of our favorite riders) in real time on our VR sensory overloaders in the comfort of our own garages! Utopia is here!

    • Dave says:

      We might not see much from regen braking on motorcycles. The braking happens up front and bikes are too light to generate much energy for capture. If we get to a place where we have a hybrid battery/capacitor system, there might be more opportunity, though.

  17. Blitz11 says:

    Hmmmmm – maybe this is how Harley segues into performance motorcycles. Different demographic with their electric motorcycle technology. Kills many birds with one stone. Go big or go home.

    • Tom R says:

      And they will probably make that sound-“Hmmmmm”.

      I wonder if H-D will try to copyright/patent THAT?

  18. Scott says:

    Here we go…

  19. James Ridge says:

    Complete and utter crap. I watched one lap of electric cars at Monaco. Then switched over to darts channel for more excitement. Remember scooters at the IOM and 50cc bikes trying to climb the mountain ? pathetic.

    • PatrickD says:

      Do keep up

      Electric bikes have now done the TT course at an average of 119mph.

    • Randy D. says:

      I’ve already seen the future @ Sears Point raceway where AMA ran electric bikes and it isn’t the same w/o the exhaust sound of a combustion motor. They go by and all you here is a little wind.

      Same thing happened in the `60s when there was a turbine Indy type car running with the conventional Indy cars @ Riverside Raceway. Turbine goes by with nary a sound. It was outlawed shortly thereafter. Without that roar it’s just not the same for spectators.

      • Scott says:

        Is this why NASCAR and Harley-Davidsons are popular in America??? The noise?! I mean, sure, they’re primitive, heavy, slow, and handle like crap, but they’re LOUD so they must be good!

        Maybe during e-races they can dub in some “Brrrmmm! Brrrmmm!” sounds so American “race fans” will realize how fast they’re going.

  20. Trpldog says:

    Not a big fan of electric bikes, but there is certainly some forward thinking going on at Dorna. It could prove to be better than we think – we’ll see. We’ll be able to hear the riders yelling at each other on the track – ha ha. I sure hope it is far better than I anticipate it being.