Former MotoGP race winner Sete Gibernau will come out of a 10-year retirement to compete the inaugural MotoE World Cup in 2019 with Pons Racing.
Gibernau raced in the premier class from 1997 to 2006 full-time, taking nine wins on Suzuki and Honda machinery, and finished runner-up in the standings on two occasions.
The Spaniard, who famously engaged in a heated rivalry with nine-times world champion Valentino Rossi, stepped away from MotoGP at the end of '06, before making six final starts in '09 with the ill-fated Onde 2000 Ducati outfit.
In recent years, the 45-year-old has acted as rider coach for Dani Pedrosa, though this role has since come to an end as the Honda rider prepares for retirement at the end of this season.
“Of course, I never thought that I would participate in a motorcycle championship since I retired permanently, but life always keeps surprises for you, after 10 years retired and without competing, I am here,” said Gibernau.
“I thank Sito [Pons, team owner] for the opportunity he has given me. Having insisted so much to convince me and make this new challenge in my life a new illusion, I will work hard to live up to the call of someone like Sito, and it makes me really excited to live and pilot this new generation of electric bikes and to do my bit to its development.
“Besides being able to say that I will have piloted the three generations of motorcycles that have gone through the World Motorcycle Championship, the past of the two times, the present of the four times and the future of the electric "
Pons added: “When the new MotoE World Championship appeared, we were clear that we wanted to be present, without a doubt, electric motorcycles are destined to be the future of motorcycling and to be part of it makes us proud and passionate.
“We were clear that we had to have an experienced pilot and I do not see any better option than Sete Gibernau to join this project, I know his ability, his pride and his pride, since Sete accepted the commitment to participate in the project.
“MotoE championship I was sure that he is prepared and will give his best, as he has always done in his sports career to fight for the top positions.
“His experience and ability is what makes him the reference in the category. I am very happy to have him and I want to start working together on this new challenge.”
Last week the LCR team confirmed former MotoGP racer Raandy de Puniet and World Endurance champion Nicolo Canepa will spearhead its MotoE effort.