Former MotoGP race-winner Sete Gibernau will end his decade-long retirement to return to racing with Pons Racing in MotoE for 2019.

The 45-year-old will make his racing comeback next season in the inaugural MotoE championship, racing single-specification electric bikes, with former squad Pons Racing having competed for the Spanish team in 1995 during his 250cc days.

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Gibernau, two-time MotoGP world championship runner-up in 2003 and 2004, becomes the latest high-profile name to join the first-ever MotoE grid following last week’s announcements of Randy de Puniet and Niccolo Canepa (both LCR E-Team) and Bradley Smith (SIC One Energy Racing).

The Spanish rider is already bracing for a steep learning curve after 10 years away from racing but is relishing the opportunity to team up with Pons.

“I never thought that I would participate in a motorcycle championship since I retired permanently, but life always keeps surprises for you,” Gibernau said. “After 10 years retired and without competing, I am here.

“I thank Sito for the opportunity he has given me. Having insisted so much to convince me and make this new challenge in my life a new illusion, I will work hard to live up to the call of someone like Sito, and it makes me really excited to live and pilot this new generation of electric bikes and to do my bit to its development.”

Sito Pons is naturally delighted to secure Gibernau for his MotoE squad and is confident despite his 10 years out of racing he will be well prepared for the first-ever electric series.

“When the new MotoE World Championship appeared, we were clear that we wanted to be present, without a doubt, electric motorcycles are destined to be the future of motorcycling and to be part of it makes us proud and passionate,” Pons said.

“We were clear that we had to have an experienced pilot and I do not see any better option than Sete Gibernau to join this project, I know his ability, his pride and his pride, since Sete accepted the commitment to participate in the project.

“MotoE championship I was sure that he is prepared and will give his best, as he has always done in his sports career to fight for the top positions. His experience and ability is what makes him the reference in the category. I am very happy to have him and I want to start working together on this new challenge.”

Testing for the maiden MotoE season begins at Jerez on 23-25 November.

The inaugural MotoE championship gets underway at Jerez next May before four further rounds at Le Mans, Sachsenring, Spielberg and Misano racing as part of the support classes to MotoGP in 2019.

Gibernau raced a Repsol Honda in the then 500cc World Championship from 1998 to 2000, finishing on the podium five times. He later claimed eight of his nine premier-class wins as a satellite Honda MotoGP rider at Gresini, between 2003-2005.

CLICK HERE to see the list of riders so far confirmed for MotoE...

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