Dear FIM, stop making excuses and own what you have.

Already the critiques of the FIM’s e-Power series have started, and all we’ve had if the first days qualifying.  Honestly it sounds similar to grumblings about the TTXGP, so maybe they are more on par than those who show up to MotoGP weekend would suggest.  If what I heard (and have not confirmed) is true, we have even newer folks in charge of the e-Power series.  At least in the TTXGP series you have a familiar face to be mad at when best laid plans fall to pieces.

Either way, here’s a nice write-up provided by the e-Power folks on their Facebook page:

Status Update
By FIM e-Power
The Season kicks off at the Bol d’Or!!!!!!
Katja Poensgen takes centre stage at Magny-Cours.The FIM e-Power International Championship has a new high-profile ambassadress. Katja Poensgen will be onboard one of the bikes entered for the 2012 season’s curtain raiser at Nevers Magny-Cours. The German
rider, who won her spurs in the 250 cc World Championship before bowing out in 2003, is making a popular comeback in this championship reserved for electrically powered machines. “I stopped riding competitively 9 years ago, then I had my daughter and I wasn’t thinking about racing again, Katja explains, but last year I was invited to test an electric bike on a TV show and I was won over.
When Munch Racing invited me to ride at Magny-Cours, I said yes. The bike is fun to ride. Of course there is no noise or smell, but it is beautifully smooth and you have to use your brain much more to get a good performance than when you ride a classic bike.”
Riding Munch Racing # 65, Katja Poensgen signed the second-best lap time of the first e-Power qualifying session in 2’11.875 behind fellow German Matthias Himmelmann, winner of the 2011 FIM e-Power International Championship. Matthias Himmelmann clocked up his best lap in 1’59.435 on Munch Racing # 49, equipped with a new and more powerful battery pack. Another German, Chris Amendt of EPO Racing Team, took third position in the qualifications with a time of 2’30.294.For economic reasons and because of delays in preparation at the start of the season, the starting grid of this first round of the 2012 FIM e-Power International Championship is still relatively sparse, but there are plenty of French, Italian, Belgian and Spanish teams waiting in the wings and eager to join the fray.
The second qualifying session of the FIM e-Power International Championship will take place at Magny-Cours in the early afternoon.

Very cool that Munch has a new rider.  Not that surprising she’s female from the scuttlebutt I heard a few months back.  But, no less cool.  After first qualifying she is 12 seconds down though.  That’s a lot, even with new batteries in Himmelmann’s bike.  Anyway, Himmelmann’s time in their first qualifying puts him 19 seconds off of the 1:40.514 of the pole position winning bike for the Bol d’Or 24 hr race, of which the e-Power race is a supporting class race.  But only 8 seconds off the slowest bike.
But for Q2 we get:
Electric powered motorcycles forge aheadThe German team Münch Racing has taken both first and second place on the starting grid at the first round of the FIM e-Power International Championship that will take place tomorrow morning as the curtain-raiser for the 76th Bol d’Or at Magny-Cours. Matthias Himmelmann confirmed his claim to pole position by lapping in 1’58.084 ahead of his popular team-mate, Katja Poensgen, whose best lap-time was 2’10.697.This season, 2011 FIM e-Power International Championship victor Matthias Himmelmann is riding a motorcycle with a new battery pack that provides longer life to boost racing performances, while Katja Poensgen is testing the new electric engine developed by Münch.

Christian Amendt and his EPO Racing Team are back racing after a break. Fourth in the 2010 FIM e-Power International Championship, this German rider is also working on the development of his new electric powered motorcycle. Other rivals have chosen to sit out this opening round. We should see both the performances and the number of motorcycles forge ahead as we move through the events of this 2012 season.

So, Himmelmann and his teammate took almost another 1.5 seconds out of their time in Q2.  But to be over 17 seconds down to endurance superbikes on a 2.74 mile course, is not particularly encouraging.  Even worse is that this is no improvement over last year where Himmelmann went from a 2:11 to a 1:58, only to finish second in the race 2 and a half seconds down.   However, no one is pushing them.  There are three bikes on the grid, just like last year, only this year one of the bikes is a teammate over 10 seconds back.  The only difference to this year from last year is the team in the back is a German team EPO Racing coming back after taking 2011 off, instead of the Spanish team E-JARAMA.  Which, by the way, was a minute closer to to Munch than Munch was to eCRP by race’s end.  A “technical glitch” kept them from running their pole setting pace all race long last year.  Well see how this weekend goes.
As far as the FIM, I would really like it if they just owned what they have and not made excuses for other teams not being there.  I suspect they would be wise and learn from what happened to the TTXGP last year where half the teams turned into vaporware.  And I include Mission in that group . . . still.

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