BRADLEY Smith will have to wait a little longer for his racing debut on an electric bike after a fire during the first test in Jerez.

The first round of the new MotoE World Cup had been scheduled at the Spanish track on Sunday, May 5, supporting the fourth round of the MotoGP World Championship.

But a fire in the paddock during the early hours of Thursday morning has destroyed the majority of the bikes, forcing the cancellation of the series opener.

An investigation to determine the cause of the incident is underway, but officials have confirmed nobody was injured and that no bikes were charging at the time of the blaze.

Smith, who is riding for the One Energy Racing team, set the eighth fastest time on Wednesday.

Work is already underway to replace and rebuild anything damaged in the fire, and the Forest Hill racer reacted to the incident on Instagram.

The 28-year-old posted: “Very proud to be involved in this new championship and I look forward to when we are able to get back on track.”

Nicolas Goubert, executive director of MotoE, told “The bikes came back to the paddock and the teams did maintenance on the bikes.

“At the end of the day, we left a small team of four people in charge of charging all the bikes to be ready for the following testing day.

“Just at the end of the charging process they saw fumes coming out of one of the boxes and noticed a prototype charging station was actually catching fire and they tried to extinguish that.

“Unfortunately, they couldn’t manage to extinguish it and the fire spread very rapidly to the entire tent in which we had all the bikes, all the equipment for this year, so of course we lost a lot of things.

“But having said that, we’re working with prototypes, new technology, and it’s very unfortunate but sometimes those sort of things happen.

“Nobody has been injured which is the most important thing and we will definitely go on and start a championship in 2019.

“We are dedicated to having a five-event championship, so we will go from there and we will learn from the mistakes if any have been made.”

Smith headed to Jerez after making the first of five MotoGP wildcard appearances for Aprilia Factory Racing, for whom he is their test rider, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar, last Sunday.

The former Tech3 and KTM star, who has two premier class podiums to his name, dominated the first electric test in November.

And, speaking before the fire, was upbeat about the development of the bike.

He said: "We kept the same base set-up that we had here at Jerez in November, when I managed to set the fastest lap time.

"We focused on getting back to that lap time and staying consistent with it, which we achieved.

"The other riders have made notable improvements since the last test in November."