The stage is set for the season opener of the 2022 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, which marks the fourth and final edition of the series with Energica as the single manufacturer. From Friday, the riders entering the series will be back aboard their Energica Ego Corsa machines at the ‘Circuito de Jerez’ in southern Spain, the same venue that hosted the two, three-day test sessions earlier this month and back in March.

This 2022 championship will be different in many ways, starting with qualifying which now sees MotoGP-style Q1 and Q2 sessions, which will be very useful for the riders as they will enjoy an extended number of laps compared to the previous single-lap E-Pole format.

But that is not all. Each of the seven events will host two individual races, which will add to the complexity of the battle for the title. With twice as many points available per weekend, it will be likely that the riders will use a less-conservative approach to the encounters – and therefore add a further level of excitement to an already thrilling series.

As previously noted, the Energica Ego Corsa machines will sport new technical updates this season, which include a brand new motor and inverter that make the ‘Made in Modena’ all-electric race bike around 15kg lighter. This makes for better manoeuvrability on corner entry and while changing direction.

All of last year’s top riders are back in action, with some welcome returns and new arrivals to bring their A-game and battle for honours. Reigning and two-time World Cup Champion Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) will have to fend off the attacks coming from previous title contenders and multiple race winners Eric Granado (LCR E-Team), Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt IntactGP) and 2019 title winner Matteo Ferrari (Gresini Racing Team), with the last mentioned showing great speed after struggling to get up to speed early last year.

Plenty of other stars are looking to make a further leap and contend for the ultimate prize, including sophomore riders Miquél Pons (LCR E-Team), Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE), multiple podium finisher Mattia Casadei – who joins Torres in the Pons Racing 40 team after three editions spent with team Ongetta Sic58 Squadracorse – and the Italian team’s new recruit Kevin Zannoni. Maria Herrera (OpenBank Aspar Team) will also line up for her fourth season in the series.

Returning riders Niccolò Canepa (WithU GRT RNF MotoE Team) and Hector Garzó (Tech 3 E-Racing) are also eager to show their talent, while Canepa’s team-mate Bradley Smith will have to sit out the opening round after his big crash at the Le Mans 24H Race. Former MotoE star Lukas Tulovic will step in for the injured Brit.

Among the rookies, one to keep eye on is surely the former WorldSBK star Xavi Forés, who rides for the OCTO Pramac Racing Team.

MotoE (full schedule) action will get underway this Friday at 8:25 (GMT +2) for Free Practice 1, with Qualifying 1 scheduled from 16:50 the same day. Race one will take place on Saturday at 16:25, while the second encounter will wrap up the weekend on Sunday from 15:30.