Technology lovers cheered while internal combustion engine Luddites jeered, as MotoGP introduced its fledgling e-bike series with representatives from Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), Dorna Sports, Enel and Energica Motor Company in Rome on February 6.
The FIM Enel MotoE World Cup debuts in early 2019, with five European 10-lap races involving seven independent (non-factory) MotoGP teams. The bigger news is the machine on which 18 racers will pilot: the Energica EgoGP, selected by former GP 250cc world champion Loris Capirossi.
According to Dorna, the Energica EgoGP race bikes could have up to 50 kWh of battery on board; Enel will also employ a battery-equipped mobile charger at the five races, capable of recharging the machines in less than 30 minutes. Michelin—sole tire supplier to MotoGP—was tapped to provide tires to the MotoE World Cup.
The star of the show in Rome was the Energica EgoGP, made in Modena, Italy’s famous region for motorsports manufactucturing (Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani and Maserati). With a top speed of 155 mph and acceleration of 0-60 in three seconds, Energica claims 147.5 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm, and maximum continuous power of 110 kW (147hp/cv). The motor is synchronous oil-cooled with permanent magnets. In short, plenty of va-va-voom! to go with that sexy exterior.
There’s been some discussion that nine-times MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi might make it 10 on an e-bike. He’s racing for the mighty Movistar Yamaha factory team, which is not participating in the MotoE World Cup—yet.