Fire in the paddock: MotoE burns, the world championship is postponed

So much fear, luckily no one was injured and a world championship that risks not starting again. A fire – about the causes of which nothing is yet known – broke out in the night in the paddock of the Jerez de la Frontera circuit, in Spain, which was home to the electric motorcycles that were supposed to take part in the new MotoE world championship on May 5. But the fire literally smoked all the 18 Energica Ego bikes inside the facility, which was hosting the first pre-seasonal tests of the new competition. The organizers have cancelled the sessions scheduled for today and tomorrow and at this point the start of the championship is also at risk.

In a press release, Dorna – the organizer of the championship – has announced that the fire has broken out at 00.15 this night, that it is still investigating the causes and confirmed that there were no injuries. In the next few hours the changes to the MotoE calendar will be announced.

“A very bad scenario, like a nightmare”. Alex De Angelis describes, on the phone, the situation that found itself in front of this morning when he arrived at the Jerez circuit, where a fire that broke out during the night literally smoked the Energica Ego bikes and the equipment of the MotoE teams present on the Spanish track for testing in the new category. “Someone saw what happened, because he finished working late, and all the truth will come out”, points out De Angelis, Sky Sport’s talent for MotoGP but also one of the 18 riders who were preparing for their debut in the MotoE Championship. “When I arrived in the marquee where the bikes were located, everything was completely burned out.

There’s nothing left: the computers, the mechanics’ equipment, the tyrewarmers…”, says the 35-year-old rider, who after a long career in MotoGP was hired by the Alma Pramac Racing team to race with the new electric bikes. De Angelis explains: “I don’t even want to think that someone’s hand was there. They told us that he depended on a pillar to load the bikes. In any case, it’s nice to know that it didn’t depend on the bikes because then we won’t be afraid when we get back on track. Dorna (the organizing company) has assured us that they will do everything they can to get the championship off the ground. They will have to rebuild everything, at the moment they had to cancel the next test that was scheduled in a month’s time in Jerez. The new World Championship should have started on May 5 in Spain, in conjunction with the GP of the World Championship.

“It is obvious that one or more dates will be postponed, but there is a willingness to restart and also to do it quickly enough and this is a good thing. Yesterday (on the first day of testing, ed.) there was great enthusiasm, the bikes were going great and even the times on the track were unthinkable. I had fun and everything was there to make a good impression, which increases the regret. When we arrived this morning and we saw everything destroyed, I thought that the possibility of taking part in the championship would also have gone up in smoke. But it doesn’t seem like that, also because the companies that are part of this project have invested a lot and are all very serious. Of course – he concludes – rebuilding the bikes and all the spare parts for the season will not be easy”.

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