February 2018 saw the launch of the MotoE World Cup, the world’s first electric motorcycle racing series, heralding “a new era” in motorcycle racing. After the increasing popularity of Formula E in motor racing, the FIM and MotoGP promoter Dorna followed suit. Currently, there are more than one billion vehicles on earth, they explained. “If the growth rate in the mobility sector continues to rise as before, this figure could rise to three billion vehicles within the next thirty years. This significantly increases the need for sustainable mobility and drives manufacturers to more economical solutions. One of the most important of these is the start of electromobility”.
This weekend, the new series will celebrate its premiere as part of the MotoGP weekend at the Sachsenring. Actually, the first of a total of six races of the season should have taken place in Jerez on May 5. However, on the evening of March 13, 2019, during tests on the track in Andalusia, a fire broke out which severely damaged all 18 bikes and all the equipment.
Therefore, the fans attending the German Grand Prix will have the privilege of watching the first race of the new series live. Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta explained before the weekend on “Locos por las motocross” on Spanish television that the new technology of electric motorcycles could not be “ignored”. The first premise was that the rider must be the center of attention, he said. However, the Spaniard does not see Moto E as an alternative to traditional motorcycle racing. “MotoE does not replace anything.”
The Energica Ego Corsa Bike
Unlike MotoGP or the Superbike World Championship, in which different manufacturers compete against each other, all MotoE bikes come from a single source: the Italian company Energica Motor Company from Modena, which was the only one to convince in the tests. Apart from a few minor differences, the motorcycles are identical, which does put the rider at the center of attention and not the technology.
The performance of the Energica Ego Corsa is comparable to that of a Moto2 bike: 110 kW, which corresponds to about 147 hp and enables a top speed of up to 270 km/h. The Energica Ego Corsa has a maximum speed of 270 km/h. The heart of the bike is a synchronous, oil-cooled motor with permanent magnets, which allows a maximum continuous power of 120 kW and a torque of 5,000 rpm.
The Ego Corsa has neither a gearbox nor a clutch. Everything is regulated by the ride-by-wire system, allowing you to control the acceleration torque of the motor and deceleration based on the regenerative torque or engine braking.
At less than 2.8 seconds, the Energica Ego Corsa’s acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is only slightly slower than that of a MotoGP motorcycle, which takes 2.6 seconds to reach 100 km/h from a standstill. However, the Moto-E bike with tubular steel frame and cast aluminum swingarm weighs at least 260 kilograms. Therefore, it is around 100 kilograms heavier than a MotoGP bike, that weighs at least 157 kilograms. In addition, it only has about half as much horsepower as its big brother, which boasts 280 hp.
The batteries have a storage capacity of 20-kilowatt hours and can be charged up to 80/85% in about 20 minutes with the 20 kW fast charger. This again guarantees a range of 120 kilometers. A regular, full charge with the 3kW OBC (On Board Charger) takes around 3.5 hours.
The only tire supplier of the series is the French manufacturer Michelin, which also supplies the premier class.
As in the other series, the race weekend starts on Friday with two free practice sessions. With 30 minutes, they are a little shorter than those of MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3. The grid positions are determined in individual time trials in the E-Pole qualifying session. Each rider has a warm-up lap, a flying lap, and a slow down lap. The order in which the drivers go onto the track is determined by the combined overall result of the two free Friday practice sessions. The slowest driver goes first, the fastest last.
The race takes place on Sunday at 10:00 after the warm-up sessions of Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP. There is no warm-up in MotoE. The race distance is eight laps, which corresponds to an overall distance 29.6 kilometers at the 3.7-kilometer Sachensring.
Teams and riders
For the first season of the MotoE World Cup, 12 teams with a total of 18 riders, 17 men and one woman, are registered. The seven MotoGP satellite teams each enter two bikes, four Moto2 and Moto3 teams respectively have one bike each. The series’ crowd puller is MotoGP runner-up of 2003 and 2004, Sete Gibernau, who is celebrating his racing comeback. The 46-year-old Spaniard competes for Pons. Alex De Angelis, Mike Di Meglio, Bradley Smith, and Randy De Puniet also have MotoGP experience. Swiss Intact rider Jesko Raffin is the only German speaking rider on the grid, die Spanierin Maria Herrera (Angel Nieto) the only woman. The fastest rider at the Valencia test was Bradley Smith, who is considered one of the favorites for the victory of Sunday’s race.
Teams and riders of the 2019 MotoE season
Tech 3: Kenny Foran, Hector Garzo
LCR: Randy de Puniet, Niccolo Canepa
Pramac: Alex de Angelis, Josh Hook
Angel Nieto: Nico Terol, Maria Herrera
Avintia Esponsorama: Xavier Simeon, Eric Granado
Gresini: Matteo Ferrari, Lorenzo Savadori
Pons: Sete Gibernau
Intact: Jesko Raffin
SIC58: Matteo Casadei
Ajo: Niki Tuuli
Marc VDS: Mike di Meglio
One Energy Racing: Bradley Smith
There are a total of six races on the 2019 calendar. After the cancellation of the races at Jerez and Le Mans, the first race will take place on July 7, at Sachsenring. The next one will be the Red Bull Ring event. Misano and the season finale in Valencia are double events: There will be two races, one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
Calendar MotoE season 2019
7 July: Sachsenring, Germany
11 August: Red Bull Ring, Austria
14 and 15 September: Misano, Italy
16 and 17 November: Valencia, Spain
Subscribers can watch the MotoE races online at MotoGP.com, ServusTV broadcasts the Sachsenring race live on Sunday from 10:00 am.