CHIEFS at the LCR E-Team have unveiled their 2019 title challenging machines as they bid to lift the inaugural FIM Enel MotoE World Cup trophy.
Back in November, the squad revealed that former MotoGP star Randy De Puniet would return to the fold after half a decade out of the GP paddock and join 2017 World Endurance champ Niccolò Canepa to contest the full five-round season for Lucio Cecchinello’s outfit, which today broke cover.
And at the team launch last night in Brecia, home of major sponsor IVAR, the LCR boss says he’s elated to be part of the future of motorsport, where he hopes to be among the front-runners.
“Low-noise, zero-emission motorcycles powered by renewable energy sources represent part of the racing future and this project is a new challenge in my career,” Cecchinello said.
“Randy and Niccolò are two of the most talented and experienced riders in the motorcycling field and, together with a highly specialized technical staff, I am sure we can be amongst the protagonists of the upcoming MotoE World Cup.”
While De Puniet returns to the familiar territory of his old MotoGP and 250cc team without petrol power, he feels the fans are still in for a treat.
“For me it’s a special feeling because LCR Team was my family for five years and I have my best racing memories with them, so coming back is simply great,” he said. “I tried the bike six months ago in Le Mans but the second time I jumped on it I could feel the difference.
“They did an incredible job and it’s like riding a standard bike. I know people think that electric bikes seem boring because we are used to the roar of other bikes but I can promise this championship will be fun for the two-wheel fans and I am sure we are going to see exciting battles every race.”
Canepa, a former GP rider himself, admits that while the bike’s extra weight took some getting used to, he was surprised by its pace at the inaugural test at Jerez.
And with the experience LCR brings to the table, the italian believes he will be in a strong position to battle up front come the first round.
“The first time I rode this bike I was positively impressed and I think they have done an incredible job,” Canepa revealed. “Despite the unusual weight it’s a very good handling bike and my first ride was very smooth and I had fun.”
“In my opinion it’s fundamental to know all the racetracks and to be very physically prepared like me and Randy. Then we have the fortune to work with a very expert technical staff which is the reason why I chose LCR E-Team, so I think all together we can make the difference.”
Check out a few snaps from last night’s team launch: