MotoGP

MotoGP race winner Gibernau won’t stay in MotoE after 2019 season

MotoGP race winner Sete Gibernau will not remain part of the MotoE grid after the 2019 season, the rider has told Autosport.

The 46-year-old came out of retirement to contest the electric series’ inaugural season with Pons, and currently sits 10th in the standings after four of six rounds.

Gibernau said he has been “completely 100% satisfied” with his MotoE season, but when asked whether he would stay in 2020 said “no”, and that he would “go back home” to spend time with his child.

“I’m enjoying it,” Gibernau said.

“The results, for me, I don’t care – I can be first or last, it’s another situation for me.

“I’m just enjoying [racing], and I’m happy to be here.”

Gibernau, who spent a decade on the sidelines follow his retirement from MotoGP in 2009 before joining MotoE, said he was not expecting to be as capable as he has been.

He has scored points at three of the four rounds so far and has a best finish of sixth.

“I’m still not ready [to race like before],” he said.

“I don’t train, I come directly to the race just to have fun.

“I’m surprised that I’m quite competitive – I thought maybe I was not going to be so competitive, but it’s good to be competitive and every time I learn a little bit more.”

Another ex-MotoGP rider, Randy de Puniet, could also drop off the MotoE grid, having endured a chastening season with LCR.

De Puniet, who was a MotoGP podium finisher for Kawasaki and LCR’s satellite Honda squad, sits 17th in the MotoE standings.

“Before the crash [in testing at Valencia] in the beginning of the season I was confident and fast, after that was less confident, and now for me it’s impossible to find a way to ride this bike,” de Puniet said.

“I have no corner speed and you need to ride this bike like Moto2, Moto3. And I can’t – I try but I don’t know how, because I have no feeling to ride like this.

“I keep the MotoGP riding style where I brake late and I have no corner speed and pick up the bike, but with this bike it’s not the way to ride.”

De Puniet said any extension to his stay on the grid will depend on whether he can wrap his head around the Energica Ego Corse bike, as there “is no point for me and for the team” to remain uncompetitive.

Aprilia MotoGP tester Bradley Smith, who sits third in the standings, said he is “keen to continue” in the electric series next year – although he would be unable to do so should he be picked by KTM as a MotoGP replacement for Johann Zarco.

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