“The future of motorcycle racing lies here”

Energy transition has arrived at the Grand Prix Motorcycle Championship, with electric motorcycles gaining in prominence in the world of motor sport. André Pires is the first Portuguese rider to take part in the competition and, despite being a rookie, he believes he can have a good season

The electric motorcycle category of the Grand Prix Motorcycle Championship is now in its third year and continues to attract increasing attention from the general public and brands alike. This year sees Portugal represented for the first time, André Pires being the country's pioneer in this field. “It gives me great pride as both a person and a Portuguese citizen”, the 31-year-old driver tells Energiser. “Taking part in a championship of this level is always praiseworthy and the Portuguese people have been acknowledging this”, he adds.

Originally from Vila Pouca de Aguiar, André Pires made his debut in motorcycle racing in 2005 in the Objective GP trophy, where he took third place on the podium and was voted the best rookie. Nine years later, in 2014, he won the national Superbike championship. Thousands of miles of track and several podiums later, the rider now faces a new challenge: competing on an electric motorcycle. “The support I've received has been absolutely amazing, far beyond what I expected, to tell you the truth, and that gives me even more motivation”, he proudly declares.


This championship is already in its third year and has been gaining in prominence, recognition and evolution. “There is no doubt that the future of motorcycle racing lies here”, believes André Pires. In the opinion of the rider, sponsored by Galp, energy transition is an unavoidable reality in motor sport as well, and the category he now competes in is a natural development in the Grand Prix Motorcycle Championship. “Every category I've raced in over my career has proven to be a challenge, and electric bikes are no exception, quite to the contrary”. Among the difficulties he's faced, André Pires highlights the effort involved in getting used to the new, recently created technology subject to constant developments, and the high level of competitiveness inherent to this championship. “All the riders are world-class and have come from a wide range of different championships, and, in addition, all the bikes deliver the same performance, thereby guaranteeing furious battles on the track”.


As a rookie in the electric motorcycle category, André Pires is satisfied with the results of the races he has competed in up to now. “The first few races in the championship couldn't have gone better; I improved with each race and brought some precious points home”. The rider highlights the challenge of participating in a competition that is completely new to his career, both with regard to training sessions, qualifying and the races themselves. “There are so many changes you need to get used to and to practise, all of which involves countless miles and hours on your bike”, he reveals. One of the most important factors at the beginning of this season, he adds, “is striving to take full advantage of every lap of the track and avoiding mistakes, as it´s a long competition and every point won will make the difference at the end”.

“Every category I've raced in over my career has proven to be a challenge, and electric bikes are no exception”

Learning is a constant process at this stage of the proceedings, with a view to improving with each race. “There is so much to process in your debut year, from working with the team, the style of riding and the performance of the bike, to getting to know the circuits I've never raced on before. The goal is to finish in the highest position possible, avoiding mistakes and falls that could cause me to lose points. “I'll do my best”, he guarantees.

The Portuguese rider André Pires wants to finish in the highest position possible n his debut year in MotoE

Right now the focus is on this electric championship, and the rider guarantees that his plan is to compete in this category for at least another couple of years. “That's the only way I´ll manage to fight for the top places in the competition”. At the same time, André Pires intends to enter as many races as possible in several different championships, both in Portugal and abroad, in order to continue to improve. “I also want to race at the Macau Grand Prix again and, who knows, maybe one day I'll take part in the famous Isle of Man TT again”.

The only bearer of the Portuguese colours in this category, André Pires regrets the fact there are no other Portuguese riders in electric motorcycle racing and other motorcycling events too. “There is plenty of talent in Portugal, top-notch riders with enormous ability, but the main problem lies in garnering the support that will enable them to race at the level they deserve”, he laments. However, he leaves the challenge to national brands: “working to this end is important, promoting sport in Portugal and our athletes, as Galp has been doing with me in this brand new electric discipline”.