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Honda and INDE blast into E-Xplorer Season Two with a strong first day in Osaka

In only the first day of the 2024 FIM E-Xplorer World Cup, newcomer Honda Racing Corporation (Team HRC) has already asserted itself as a force to be reckoned with, with Francesca Nocera clocking the fastest female time in practice, while teammate Tosha Schareina finished the day as second fastest male.

The second season of the all-electric, all-terrain series kicked off today in Osaka Japan with riders braving bone-chilling conditions and a challenging new course, but it was Team HRC that showed the greatest potential in practice.

With a best time of 47.393, Team HRC’s Italian rider set a high bar for the female competitors, and while her Spanish teammate put in an impressive best of 42.109 it wasn’t quite enough to beat Jorge Zaragoza’s blistering 41.325 for Robbie Maddison Racing.

However, the combined effort stands Honda as the strongest team after day one with everything to fight for in Saturday’s race.

That said, INDE Racing will be granting no free passes, with the second of the new teams for 2024 putting in an impressive team effort of their own. With a best lap of 47.632, Sandra Gomez was a very close second in the female riders, while teammate Spenser Wilton was the third fastest male with a time of 42.429.

The third fastest female rider in practice was Germany’s Tanya Schlosser with a best practice time of 49.053 for the Gravity team.

Speaking trackside at the specially constructed course in Osaka’s Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, Nocera said the first day couldn’t have gone better.

“It was a really great day, improving each lap and the bike was really good,” she said. “We managed to make a good setting for this type of track”

“It’s only free practice but we really started in a good way so it’s going to be a really good race tomorrow.”

While Nocera’s teammate is more at home in the dunes of Dakar, Schareina also praised the Honda CR Electric Proto’s ability to tackle a uniquely tricky course.

“It’s my first time with an electric bike and everything new, but it felt really good with the terrain, the championship and the team. Honda has done a really good job with the bike.”

It wasn’t such a positive start to the season for all teams, however, with technical problems upsetting practice for several male riders.

An early thrown chain for Jack Field in the new AUS-E Racing team kicked off the list of mechanicals for the day, while persistent transmission problems for PCR-E’s Stuart Edmonds and Dylan Woodcock of Bonnell limited the number of laps possible before full-time.

Technical gremlins aside, in only the first day of action, E-Xplorer round one is already stacking up to be a close competition with just 1.1 seconds separating the top three male riders over a tight and technical course, while 1.7s divides the three fastest women.

And with eight teams rolling out in Japan, the season is promising an eventful year of global racing with five races on two continents and two events outside of Europe for the first time.

Valentin Guyonnet, Carina Munte, Deborah Tee or Bryn Griffiths

For all the latest E-Xplorer news visit the championship’s official website

Note to Editors:

The FIM E-Xplorer World Cup is a cutting-edge, international electric all-terrain motorcycle racing series, founded by a team of visionaries, including Valentin Guyonnet, Carina Munte, Alejandro Agag, and Eric Peronnard. This event is the epitome of excitement, technological advancement, environmental sustainability, and adventure, catering to a diverse audience.

The competition comprises private and factory teams, with each team consisting of two riders of both genders. These teams will compete in a range of thrilling races, held at various locations, including city streets and natural terrains.

Get ready to witness the pinnacle of racing excellence at the FIM E-Xplorer World Cup.

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