Bradley Smith has given MCN his first reaction to his initial ride on the Energica Ego that will form the 2019 MotoE grid, only seconds after finishing the new class’ first test session at Jerez. Topping the session, Smith says that he was positively surprised by his first trial run on an electric bike.
“It’s exciting! I got on with the bike a lot better than I thought I would, because normally I take a little bit of time to get my head around things. They’re very friendly, and Loris and the development guys have done a great job with getting the bike in the ball park, and Michelin have done a good with making sure that the tyres are safe and working with the bike, which isn’t always easy.
“In general, it’s a different concept and a different riding style and a different way of going about things. But I felt quite at home from the word go. Corner speed will be key, and making sure that you carry it – you end up using every single bit of track that you can get yourself onto to do that.
“The power is very smooth off the bottom and it’s not actually too direct. You have to be careful with the initial touch, but after that there is actually a power curve in there because they’ve smoothed it out. Even in the rain, you didn’t need to use the ‘safety’ mapping on the electronics, you could still control it in your wrist.”
And while the weight of batteries on the bike has raised concern among some people about the added weight and how it’ll affect the racing, Smith says that while it’s noticeable at times, it isn’t that much of a factor.
“They’re obviously very heavy, so braking will be the area that takes more understanding and ironing out, and will be key to taking the bike to the next level. People will figure out cornering fairly quickly and getting on the power will be straightforward, but finding out how to stop 240kg without overloading the front will take some getting our heads around.
“Surprisingly it doesn’t feel that heavy in direction change, but I think that might be because I’m more used to riding a MotoGP bike that has so much torque in acceleration that everything is heavy. The front wheel is never on the ground with one of them, but with this you’ve got so much time that you’re never struggling to change direction.”