Retired racer and Dorna‘s MotoGP race direction representative Loris Capirossi recently completed a private test of the Saroléa SP7 electric race bike to judge its candidacy for the spec bike for MotoGP’s upcoming electric class.

Capirossi took the SP7 (pictured above during this year’s Isle of Man TT) for a private test at Motorland Aragon ahead of last weekend’s MotoGP round. Dorna Chief Executive Officer Carmelo Ezpeleta was on hand to watch the test, which also drew the attentions of members of Ducati‘s and Yamaha‘s race teams.

The electric class is set to join the MotoGP circuit in 2019, and Dorna is expected to name the supplier for the one-make series by the end of October. Capirossi has already tested other potential candidates, including the Lightning LS-218 which he rode at Circuit of the Americas.

Dean Harrison rode the Saroléa SP7 during this year’s TT Zero at the Isle of Man, finishing fourth with an average speed of 108.064 mph on the Mountain Course. GP racing will offer different challenges from the Isle of Man TT, so it’s important for Dorna to conduct tests such as these.

Companies such as Saroléa and Lightning hope to be in the running, but they certainly aren’t the only candidates. Energica would be another potential suitor, but it will be interesting to see if Mugen, the four-time reigning TT Zero winning manufacturer, shows interest in the series. Mugen is, of course, closely associated with Honda, being formed in 1973 by Soichiro Honda‘s son, Hirotoshi Honda, and its ties with the Japanese manufacturer – not to mention its TT Zero success – may give Mugen an edge.

  • Sayyed Bashir

    Whoever gets chosen should have the manufacturing capacity and resources to support eMotoGP around the world. Honda of course already has this structure in place, but they recently pulled out of providing the 600cc for Moto2, so how long will their support for eMotoGP last? Lightning is not in full production with their bike. Never heard of Saroléa so don’t know much about them. Pretty slim pickings for a eMotoGP bike right now.

    • GH80

      Saroléa have done the TT for the 4 past years with top riders. That’s something!

      • Derek Blackman

        Mugen are streets ahead of the (non)competition. They are setup to build and develop this motorcycle in numbers, unlike the others who can only manage to build single examples. If the fans want to watch cutting edge development, there is only one choice. To develop or ride an eBike may be exciting/challenging but personally, I find them totally boring.

        • GH80

          it’s not the intention of Mugen to produce road bikes and they already said there are not interested in emotogp if they can’t sell their racing bikes.
          Of course, new 100% electric manufacturers are still small but some of them will grow very fast (like Tesla, Alta, Energica etc.). And the first three years of emotogp it will be managed by privater teams, no need to have a huge infrastructure behind.

      • Sayyed Bashir

        I meant that none of them are in volume production of an electric bike, just one-off models, nor do they have the infrastructure to support riders at MotoGP races across the world.

  • Ian Smith

    I don’t know why it has to be limited to one manufacture. Can someone explain?

    • denchung

      Likely because right now there’s too much of a difference in performance between different electric bikes. Just look at the TT Zero for example. Mugen has dominated it four years straight, and while some are getting competitive (like Sarolea), it’s not a big enough field at this point for the number of entries Dorna would like to see.

      Ideally, it would be like WSBK’s 300 class, with several established small-displacement models, but even then you have Honda 500s competing against 300s. At least with that class, the bikes have had years of proven data to allow them to balance things out with differing weight limits, and even then, that’s not really what many people want from a MotoGP class.