March 15, 2017 at 9:34 am #17204
Rank: 1200cc Rider
- Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV
Dorna Sports, the media rights holder to the MotoGP and World Superbike Championships, wants to start its own race series for electric motorcycles, so said Carmelo Ezpeleta while talking to Spain’s respected AS publication.
Hoping to begin racing by 2019, Dorna’s electric motorcycle racing series would pick up where the now defunct FIM e-Power Championship left off, though it would come with some major differences from its predecessor.
As such, Ezpeleta outlined a plan that would see a five-round format, which piggybacks off existing rounds on the Grand Prix calendar, and operates as a support class to the usual Grand Prix weekend.
The electric race bikes would be a single-make (supposedly two brands have already expressed interest in providing the race bikes), and Dorna Sports would look to existing teams and riders in the GP paddock to fill the entries.
It is not clear who would be providing the race bikes, though we would expect the expressed interest expressed comes from established OEMs already in the GP paddock, so don’t expect to see bikes like the MotoCzysz E1pc above filling the grid.
Ezpeleta also made it clear that the series would be absolutely carbon neutral, with the host venues being required to install green energy power stations, fueled by wind turbines or solar panels.
The Spanish businessman also revealed how he sees the race format working, where 14 MotoGP riders and teams would fill most of the grid, alongside the four fastest Moto2 riders. The hope is for the bikes to have a 10-lap racing format, with speeds up to 125 mph.
The move is an interesting one, especially as electric motorcycle racing seemed all but dead – after the implosion of the ePower and TTXXGP Championships several years ago.
Currently, the best venue to showcase electric motorcycles is the Isle of Man TT, which is dominated by the entries from Team Mugen. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb seems to be a budding venue for electric motorcycles as well, though the iconic American race’s future seems always to be in doubt.
Having an established motorsports organizer like Dorna taking a measured approach to electric motorcycle racing seems to be the best bet to see this discipline final take hold in the industry. We’ll be curious to see how this plan develops over the next two years.
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