Electric race bikes steal the limelight at Shell Malaysia MotoGP

FIM Enel MotoE World Cup series will kick off in 2019
by Aris Ilagan | Nov 5, 2018
PHOTO: Aris Ilagan

If not for the tarpaulin that stood beside the race bike pictured above, many motorcycle-racing fans who attended the Malaysian MotoGP round at Sepang International Circuit last weekend would’ve thought it was just one of those regular Moto2 race machines. But as you look closer, you might start wondering why there’s no exhaust system, clutch lever, and gear pedal on the bike.

Guys, meet the new MotoE race bikes prepped for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup slated for next year.

A joint undertaking by the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) and Dorna Sports, rights holder of MotoGP, the MotoE race bike was formally launched in Rome in February, raising the eyebrows of motorcycle racing enthusiasts worldwide.

To create global awareness for the new series, the MotoE bikes have become a regular fixture at MotoGP races held in various countries. At Sepang, one of these eco-friendly machines staged a demo lap with local ace rider Zulfahmi Khairuddin at the helm. Because Zulfahmi rode solo on the track and there was hardly any noise coming from the electric motor, spectators barely noticed that the MotoE bike had just passed.

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Still, MotoE promises high-power, zero-emissions track performance. It will be witnessed by millions of MotoGP followers worldwide. The FIM Enel MotoE World Cup kicks off next year, with the races taking place in five European circuits: Sachsenring, Jerez, Le Mans, Misano, and Red Bull Ring. The five races for MotoE will be held in conjunction with the MotoGP races.

The MotoE bikes will be powered by Enel’s smart and fast-charging technology, backed up by dependable support services and storage systems. Under current proposals, the races will be eight to 10 laps long, which is about less than half of the current MotoGP race distance.

Reports say the grid will be composed of 18 race bikes under the following teams: Alma Pramac Racing, LCR Team, Tech3 Racing, Esponsorama Racing, Angel Nieto Team, and Gresini Racing, with two MotoE bikes each. Six other racing teamsSIC58 Squadra Corse, Dynavolt Intact GP, Pons Racing, Marc VDS Racing Team, and Sepang International Circuitwill each have a single entry. Testing sessions of the MotoE race bikes are scheduled to commence in the latter part of November at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in Spain.

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Are you ready to watch an ‘electrifying’ motorcycle race?

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PHOTO: Aris Ilagan
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