Remember when we told you Energica was ending its sole-supplier arrangement for MotoGP’s MotoE electric race series? At that point, we speculated as to the series’ future, and surmised it was probably headed to a different manufacturer supplying the bikes (logically, right?).
Well, here’s the rest of the story. Today, Ducati announced it would partner with MotoGP to provide the bikes for MotoE. That doesn’t mean Ducati is going to also start selling electric sportbikes next year as well. However, it’s the public start of that process; expect electric motorcycles from Bologna soon enough, based on lessons learned in this series. Here’s what Ducati’s press release says:
“The goal is to develop expertise and technologies in a constantly evolving world such as the electric one, through an experience familiar to the company like that of racing competition. This has been a consolidated tradition for the Borgo Panigale company starting from the Ducati 851, which inaugurated the trend of Ducati road sports bikes by revolutionizing the concept with its innovative two-cylinder water-cooled engine, electronic fuel injection and the new twin-shaft, four-valve heads, deriving from the Ducati 748 IE bike that made its debut in endurance races at Le Castellet in 1986.”
The arrangement will see Ducati as the sole manufacturer in the MotoE series for now.
On MotoGP’s website, Ducati big boss Claudio Domenicali said “This agreement comes at the right time for Ducati, which has been studying electric powertrains for years, as it will allow us to develop within a controlled field: that of competition. We will work to give every participant in the FIM MotoE World Cup a high-performance, electric motorcycle and one made to exemplify being lightweight.
“It’s in the area of weight, which is a fundamental element of sports bikes, which will prove the greatest challenge. Lightweight machinery has always been in Ducati’s DNA and thanks to the technology and chemistry of the batteries that are evolving quickly, we are sure that we can achieve excellent results.”
So, from 2023 onwards, we get to see a major step forwards in high-performance electric motorcycle development. See Ducati’s full press release below:
Ducati Begins Electric Era: It Will Produce Bikes for FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup From 2023 Season
Agreement signed between Ducati and Dorna Sports for the editions of the MotoE World Cup from 2023 to 2026
“Ducati is always projected to the future and every time it enters a new world it does so to create the best performing product possible. We are working to make high-performance electric motorcycles characterized by their lightness available to all FIM Enel MotoE World Cup participants,” said Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding
“We are very proud to announce Ducati as the new, single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup. With their incredible racing history, it is an honor to welcome this commitment from one of the best-known manufacturers in the paddock and to take on this new challenge together,” declared Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports
Borgo Panigale, Bologna, October 21, 2021 – Ducati is thrilled to announce the beginning of its electric era: starting from the 2023 season it will be the sole official supplier of motorcycles for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, the electric class of the MotoGP™ World Championship.
The agreement signed with Dorna Sports, organizer and promoter of the most important international two-wheel racing championships, lasts until 2026 and will therefore cover four editions of the MotoE World Cup.
This is a historic step for the Borgo Panigale motorcycle manufacturer which, following its custom of using racing competition as a laboratory for technologies and solutions that then become reality for all motorcyclists, enters the world of electric bikes starting from the sportiest sector, that of the electric class of the MotoGP World Championship.
The goal is to develop expertise and technologies in a constantly evolving world such as the electric one, through an experience familiar to the company like that of racing competition. This has been a consolidated tradition for the Borgo Panigale company starting from the Ducati 851, which inaugurated the trend of Ducati road sports bikes by revolutionizing the concept with its innovative two-cylinder water-cooled engine, electronic fuel injection and the new twin-shaft, four-valve heads, deriving from the Ducati 748 IE bike that made its debut in endurance races at Le Castellet in 1986.
Since then, this endless transfer of expertise has always taken place from the Superbike World Championships, in which Ducati has participated since the first edition in 1988, and from MotoGP, in which Ducati is the only non-Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to have won a World Championship.
The crossover is also evident in the most recent and prestigious products of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer: the V4 engine of the Panigale is in fact strictly derived in its entire construction philosophy – from the bore and stroke measurements to the counter-rotating crankshaft – from the engine that debuted on the Desmosedici GP in 2015. The V4 Granturismo that equips the new Multistrada V4 was then derived from the Panigale engine. All the vehicle control software is also directly derived from those developed in the racing world. Not to mention the field of aerodynamics.
The technological solutions developed in the world of racing, transferred to the products that make up the range, allow Ducati to offer its enthusiasts extremely high-performance and fun-to-ride motorcycles. The FIM Enel MotoE Championship will also be no exception in this regard and will allow the Company to develop the best technologies and test methodologies applied to sporty, light and powerful electric motorcycles.
At the same time, the fact that Ducati forms part of the Volkswagen Group, which has made electric mobility an essential element of its 2030 “New Auto” strategy, represents the best prerequisite for an extraordinary exchange of expertise in the field of electric powertrains.
The announcement of the agreement was made during a joint press conference in the press room of the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ on the eve of the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, the third to last round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports, and Claudio Domenicali, CEO Ducati Motor Holding, were both present.
Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding : “We are proud of this agreement because, like all the first times, it represents a historic moment for our company. Ducati is always projected towards the future and every time it enters a new world, it does so to create the best performing product possible. This agreement comes at the right time for Ducati, which has been studying the situation of electric powertrains for years, because it will allow us to experiment in a well-known and controlled field like that of racing competition. We will work to make available to all participants of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup electric bikes that are high-performance and characterized by lightness. It is precisely on weight, a fundamental element of sports bikes, that the greatest challenge will be played out. Lightness has always been in Ducati’s DNA and thanks to the technology and chemistry of the batteries that are evolving rapidly we are convinced that we can obtain an excellent result. We test our innovations and our futuristic technological solutions on circuits all over the world and then make exciting and desirable products available to Ducatisti. I am convinced that once again we will build on the experiences we have had in the world of racing competition to transfer them and apply them also on production bikes.”
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports: “We are very proud to announce Ducati as the new, single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup. With their incredible racing history, it is an honor to welcome this commitment from one of the best-known manufacturers in the paddock and to take on this new challenge together. We are eager to see what the future has in store and continue to watch this technology develop and grow, with the MotoGP paddock and MotoE continuing to drive innovation and evolution in the motorcycling industry – at the same time as creating an incredible on-track spectacle.”
This first step of Ducati in the world of electric bikes will also have an influence on the evolution of the product range. Now, the most important challenges in this field remain those of the size, weight, autonomy of the batteries and the availability of charging networks. Ducati’s experience in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will be a fundamental support for product R&D, together with the physiological evolution of technology and chemistry. The goal is to study how to produce, as soon as the technology allows, a Ducati electric vehicle that is sporty, light, thrilling and able to satisfy all enthusiasts.
A new chapter of the FIM Enel MotoE Word Cup is closer than ever. And that of Ducati too.
During 2022, various events and collective moments will allow all fans to discover the development of the project step by step.