Fire destroys entire fleet of electric bikes before championship
A major fire has destroyed the entire roster of electric bikes ahead of the MotoE World Cup — the electric spin off of MotoGP.
The blaze ripped through the newly-built paddock after the first day of preseason testing in Jerez, Spain, with all the 18 bikes caught up in the damage.
MotoE executive director Nicolas Goubert confirmed a prototype charging station caused the inferno that “destroyed the majority of material.”
“Fortunately there have been no injuries,” a MotoGP statement read. The fire is thought to have broken out at 12.15am local time at the Circuito de Jerez.
The all-electric series was planned to serve as a supplement to MotoGP and race on the same weekend, with 12 teams signing up for the MotoE World Cup last year.
The entire field had attended the test day ahead of the championship’s scheduled start at the Spanish Grand Prix on May 5.
MotoE confirmed the championship will still take place in 2019 but a revised calendar will be announced in due course. However, the competition will not race at the Circuito de Jerez.
The bikes used for MotoE are adapted from the standard MotoGP bike design, much like what Formula E has done with its race car.
“We already started talking to Energica (company who build the bikes) to find out what the potential is to rebuild 18 bikes, because we lost 22 bikes in that fire, all parts and everything,” former MotoGP rider Loris Capirossi, who has been helping MotoE with its electric bike development, told CNN.
“For our side we think we don’t want to cancel anything but we have to find out if we can start the championship in Jerez (May 5).”