Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis doubts MotoGP will ever go fully electric
Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis says he is doubtful MotoGP will ever be replaced by Dorna's electric support series MotoE, but admits it could take over another class in the world championship.
From 2019, the MotoE World Cup will form part of the support bill at select European rounds, with races set to feature 18-rider grids backed by MotoGP's seven satellite teams and a leading squad from Moto2 and Moto3.
Speaking on the subject prior to the 2017 season finale in Valencia, Jarvis believes Dorna is right to pursue electric power but is not convinced MotoGP will ever go in this direction.
The Yamaha boss also feels electric bikes will take a more prominent role in forms of racing staged nearer built-up areas where engine noise has typically been an issue.
“I think it's absolutely the right time for Dorna to begin (looking at electric technology), but it will take a long time,” he said.
“It will probably never take over the MotoGP class, but it might replace another class.
“And definitely electric vehicles (will take off) in other disciplines, like motorcross, or enduro, where noise is a much more sensitive issue because the places these vehicles are used are closer to urban areas.
“They probably have a big future there.”
Jarvis admits the motorcycle industry is lagging behind the car industry in terms of electric development, and thinks Formula E should be praised for attracting manufacturers to abandon its other motorsport exploits to focus on the fully electric series.
“Realistically, I think our industry is a little bit behind the car industry.
“But it's still interesting to see the number of manufacturers that are switching to Formula E, it's exceeding my expectations.
“If you look at the racing, the emotion you get from noise and raw power... we have to give credit to Formula E, because a lot of manufacturers are stopping other racing disciplines to invest in electric.
“And I'm sure that in the future of the motorcycle industry electric vehicles will play a greater role.”
Aprilia boss Romano Albesiano echoed Jarvis' thoughts on a fully electric MotoGP, but admits the “future will be electric somehow” and thinks hybrid technology akin to that seen in Formula 1 could be an avenue for MotoGP to explore – though the Italian expressed concerns over the cost of this.
“Talking about sporting motorcycles, I don't believe there will be an electric category with a level of performance that even gets close to what we see now,” Albesiano stated.
“Maybe hybrid technology could be realistic as in F1, and it would be very clever – but probably very expensive.
“It would be an interesting experiment, because the future will be electric somehow, but fully electric sporting motorcycles would be very difficult with the present level of technology in the battery.”