Gibernau to race in MotoE after decade in retirement
Two-time MotoGP runner-up Sete Gibernau will come out of a near-decade-long retirement to race in the inaugural season of MotoE next year.
Gibernau last raced in 2009 for the Onde 2000 team, which closed due to financial difficulties after six races in the premier class.
Now 45 years of age, the Spaniard will be Pons Racing’s rider in the first season of the all-electric MotoE World Cup.
“I never thought I would participate in a motorcycle racing championship since I definitively retired,” said Gibernau, who had been two years out of MotoGP before he rode for Onde 2000.
“But life always has a surprise in store and after 10 years retired and without having raced, here I am.
“I thank Sito (Pons) for the opportunity, having insisted so much in order to convince me and make this new challenge in my life an exciting one.
“I will work hard to live up to having been called up by someone like Sito, and I’m very excited to ride this new generation of electric bikes and play my small part in their development – as well as being able to say that I will have ridden three generations of machinery that have been raced in the World Championship; two strokes, four strokes and electric bikes.”
Gibernau in fact has a brief history with Pons, having ridden one 250cc race with the team in 1995, and team principal Sito Pons was happy to have him back after more than two decades.
“We were clear that we had to have an experienced rider and I don’t see a better option to join this project than Sete Gibernau. I know his ability and his pride,” said Pons.
“Since Sete accepted the commitment to participate in the project, I was sure that he is prepared and will give his best, as he has always done in his sporting career, to fight for the top positions.
“His experience and ability is what makes him the point of reference in the category. I’m very happy to have him and I’m eager to start working together on this new challenge.”
Gibernau, who was runner-up to Valentino Rossi in both the 2003 and 2004 MotoGP seasons for then-Honda satellite team Gresini Racing, is one of many recent MotoE rider announcements.
Current factory KTM MotoGP rider Bradley Smith was last week named as a rider for SIC/One Energy Racing, while Xavier Simeon moves from the premier class to Avintia/Esponsorama Racing.
Former MotoGP rider Randy De Puniet was recently confirmed as returning to LCR to race in MotoE, and will have Niccolo Canepa as team-mate.