11 Jul, 2017
MotoGP »

MotoGP electric support series ready for 2019?

"We hope if we start with a spec series this would encourage other players so we can make an open category after, for example, three years"

MotoGP electric support series ready for 2019?
MotoGP electric support series ready for 2019?
Plans are continuing for a future electric bike championship, to support MotoGP at a handful of events.

MotoGP Director of Technology Corrado Cecchinelli is investigating the practicality of what would start as a single-spec series.

Although yet to be given the official go-ahead, it 'looks like' happening in 2019.

"We are not considering an electric engine for any of the three grand prix classes we have now," Cecchinelli told Crash.net. "We are considering a separate, single-spec series, to be held at a small number of MotoGP events.

"We are in the process of investigating if it is practical to do that. And, if so, who could be the partner.

"But first we have to realise if there is even the chance to make a reasonable race with an electric bike, in the targeted timeframe, which is a couple of years. So we are talking about more or less 2019. Is there a chance to be on track then? It looks like yes."

Why start an electric bike series and why make it single spec?

"We are interested for a number of reasons," Cecchinelli said. "One is because we have to live in the real world and realise what is going to happen [within the motorcycling industry] and it is sensible to start in the simplest possible way, which is a spec series.

"I would consider this the 'less dangerous' test possible of something that we must do.

"We hope that if we start with a spec series this would encourage other players to come and knock on our door so we can make an open category after, for example, three years. Even the potential winner of the [spec bike] tender may be happy to have competitors."

Asked for his personal opinion of electric motorcycles, the former Ducati MotoGP track technical director replied:

"I rode some electric bikes. Not of the kind we could consider [for racing] because they were in the dual-sport category. A reference production model would be something like the BMW 1200GS.

"I was really surprised. I really enjoyed it. It was surprising to me how easy it is and that you don't feel that they weigh a lot.

"What I liked most was the connection between the throttle and the torque, actually the handlebar grip and the torque because there is no throttle! I liked that and I liked the acceleration from zero. That is unbelievable.

"Not only the 'push', which is strong, even in the bikes I tested that were not even close to the strongest possible. But the quality of the torque delivery was for me surprising. Something completely different.

"How 'ready' it is. From 0 to 20 away from traffic lights is a point where an internal combustion engine is normally not at its best. So you really appreciate the quality of the delivery in that situation.

"As for myself, I really don't enjoy the electric bikes being so quiet! That's my personal taste and I think it will change in the next years. The future generation of racers will not like noise, because they will not be used to it."

By Peter McLaren

Want more? CLICK HERE for the MotoGP Homepage...


  • ZeFrenchAngle 11 Jul, 2017 12:08:16
    BryCB: Think they really need to start playing with this idea to ensure the future of bike racing (and all motorsport) as at some point, hopefully a good few years down the road yet? the internal combustion engine will become a thing of the past.

    Interesting point this.

    Two things in the way of "electric everywhere" : the first one is the wide availability of charging stations, including on motorway services, etc... - of the MotGP countries that I know, the UK & Germany are way ahead of my country France, Belgium, Holland or Spain.

    But by far the biggest problem is the non-instant nature of charging : if you run out of petrol, you stop, fill up in 5 minutes, pay, and you're back on the road. With electric you might as well book into a hotel ! OK, an exaggeration, of course, but the point is still there : recharging an electric car/bike is a VERY LENGTHY pit stop !

    So, until science solves that issue, I think we are a long way from "Electric everywhere" !
  • ZeFrenchAngle 11 Jul, 2017 18:24:42
    And to be clear : I completely agree on the performance of electric in terms of ridiculous acceleration, etc...

    And I also believe that they will eventually solve the instant charging issue, if only to get rid of petrol altogether. You can never stop progress, so it WILL happen, but that is a long way away, as per my original post.

    More interestingly is GUNA4699's post. I attend 4 GPs every year and Guna4699's point is absolutely on point : after having travelled a thousand kilometres or more to get to a GP, across many countries sometimes, when you get to the parking area, which sometimes might be up to 30-minutes' walk from the track, the sound of Moto3/Moto2/MotGP bikes doing their Sunday morning 20-minute warm-up in the distance gets you EXCITED already, the anticipation is burning !

    Imagine a GP without that sound, with total silence ?? - for a different FUTURE generation maybe, but not for me !!!!
Read all comments arrow forward