The landscape of the motorcycle industry is constantly changing, and motorcycle racing is changing right along with it. Not long ago, we told you about the FIM dropping the World Supersport class in favor of a naked bike class. Now MotoGP is looking to shake some things up too!
MotoGP-E Is Coming, Are You Ready?
With supersport sales dropping off, the industry is turning away from midrange sportbikes. This created a problem for Honda, suppliers of CBR600RR engines to the Moto2 class of MotoGP. The factory has discontinued the CBR600RR in Europe thanks to Euro4 emissions rules, but would still have to make engines for Moto2 despite this. That’s why the company wasn’t eager to renew its contract when it expires in 2018, but this has left room for another manufacturer to step in.
British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph has been signed to produce 750cc triple cylinder engines for the Moto2 class. The new engines roll out in 2019, but it looks like the executives behind MotoGP aren’t stopping there.
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of MotoGP’s regulating company—DORNA—has told the media that MotoGP will also be adding an electric motorcycle class. This MotoE category will consist of an 18-bike grid running at 5 European rounds for at least 10 laps per race. These motorcycles are expected to have a top speed of around 125 mph (200 km/h), which is similar to the top speed of a Moto3 bike. The bikes in this class will also be of one make, just like in Moto2 and Moto3, and four manufacturers have already offered to be the supplier.
This move represents a huge step forward for MotoGP. Electric motorcycles have been a hard sell for many motorcycling enthusiasts, but in the past few years there have been signs that the eBike industry is about to surge. The FIA’s Formula E championship, featuring electric cars, has boomed in popularity. Plus, electric motorcycle racing classes at the Isle of Man TT and Colorado’s very own Pikes Peak International Hill Climb have cut out quite the niche with fans. With DORNA ready to launch a MotoGP-E class, motorcycle racing might be trying to anticipate the market trend rather than following it. But will this gamble work?
This motorcycle racing update has been brought to you by the attorneys who ride at the Metier Law Firm!