With Bradley Smith off to Aprilia Racing Team Gresini for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship Series, WithU Motorsport was left without a rider for its FIM Enel MotoE World Cup team. Stepping into the breach is Jakub Kornfield, a 27-year-old Czech rider best known for jumping his Moto3 bike over Enea Bastianini’s downed motorcycle at the 2018 French GP.
Although his motocross-like heroics in Moto3 will never be forgotten, Kornfeil compiled a lengthy résumé in the class. He rode 182 GPs, scoring five podiums and a single pole. At WithU Motosport, Kornfeil will be teamed up with Johan Stigefelt and Razlan Razali. Kornfeil previously rode with Stigefelt and Razali on the SIC Racing Team. Like everyone in the MotoE Cup, Kornfeil will be aboard the Energica Ego Corsa.
Kornfeil will first throw a leg over the Energica Ego Corsa at the Circuito de Jerez—Ángel Nieto for the Spanish GP. That gives him precious little time to absorb the move from a four-stroke 250cc Moto3 to a heavyweight 147-horsepower electric motorcycle that puts out 162 ft-lbs of torque.
“My first contact with the MotoE bike will be at Jerez during the Spanish GP week,” Kornfeil explains, “so I will have to adapt quickly to a completely new bike and competition. From this moment on, I will train with big bikes to get used to the similar size. My target for 2020 is to take steps forward day-by-day and ride faster every time I go out on track. I’m going to work hard to achieve all expectations and enjoy this great opportunity.”
“We welcome Jakub, a rider with a lot of experience in the Moto3 World Championship and in whom we trust to take great results in MotoE,” WithU Motorsport Team Principal Matteo Ballarin said. “We have great support from our partners in the Czech Republic, and I hope that together we can have a great year. Jakub will go into the first race at Jerez with very few laps under his belt with a MotoE bike, but it is a very young competition where not many riders have raced yet.”
Although Smith left the team unexpectedly, there were no hard feelings from Ballarin. “Regarding Bradley Smith, I am sad on the one hand,” he explained, “because I would have liked for him to have been fighting for great results in MotoE again. But on the other hand, I am very happy for him. He has a great opportunity in MotoGP, and I hope he will achieve great results, and that we celebrate it together.“
The 2020 MotoE World Cup features seven races at five GPs this year—GP of Spain, GP of Andalucía, GP of San Marino, GP of Emilia Romagna, and GP of France.