CHIEFS at the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup have revealed that the championship will forge ahead with a revised schedule after a fire destroyed nearly everything in the paddock.
In the midst of a three-day test for the electric machines, a blaze ripped through the Circuito de Jerez in the early hours of this morning, scorching bikes, rider gear, equipment, charging stations and tools. Thankfully no one was injured.
But the fire left fans wondering if there would even be a series running in 2019 with less than two months to go before the first round was set to take place back at the same track.
However, championship director Nicolas Goubert has eased electric enthusiasts’ fears today after confirming that the inaugural MotoE season would go ahead and maintain a five-race programme for 2019.
And while the series may not begin as part of the Gran Premio Red Bull de España in May, he believes bosses at Dorna can all learn from the unfortunate circumstances.
“It started well, we had all 18 bikes and riders here and the riders were all very happy with some impressive lap times,” said Goubert. “At the end of the day, the bieks came back to the paddock and the teams did maintenance on the bikes and we left a small team of four people in charge of charging the bikes to be ready for the following days.
“Just at the end of the charging process, they noticed that fumes were coming out of one of the boxes and when they went there, a prototype charging station was catching fire so they tried to extinguish that. Unfortunately they couldn’t and the fire spread very rapidly to the entire tent, in which we had all the bikes and all the equipment for this year.
“We lost a lot of things. But having said that, we’re working with prototypes, new technology and prototype charging stations. It’s very unfortunate, but sometimes things like this happen. The positive thing is that nobody has been injured, which is the most important thing.
“We will definitely go on – we will have a championship this year in 2019. It won’t start on exactly the same dates, but we’re dedicated to having a five-event championship. We’ll go from there and we’ll learn from the mistakes if any have been made.
“When I talked to the engineers on the bikes, they had already contacted their staff at the factory to try to get all the parts needed to be able to have the bikes to have them as soon as possible. Right now we don’t know exactly when, but for sure it will be possible. We will be even stronger.”
While the investigation to determine the exact cause of the fire continues, Dorna has confirmed that no motorcycles were charging at the time of the incident in the box in which the fire started.