Ducati’s about to take over MotoGP’s all-electric MotoE racing series—and now, it’s building the bikes that will be on-grid in only a matter of weeks.
Back in 2021, we told you MotoGP’s organizers were cutting their ties with Energica, the battery bike manufacturer that had provided the racebikes for MotoE in its initial seasons. Shortly after, the series announced the new plan was to continue developing the series using electric motorcycles built by Ducati. Then, last summer, we had our first look at the new V21L electric racer. Now, Ducati’s Bologna, Italy, factory is working on building the bikes that the racers will use when MotoE starts racing.
Ducati says production will take about a month. The plan is to build 23 bikes (the grid is 18 riders deep, and there will be five spare machines). Their first race is the French GP in May.
What to expect?
This is Ducati’s first electric racebike, while Energica had years of experience building battery bikes before it inked the deal to supply MotoE. Will the Duc be as successful, or will there be teething problems? It will be most interesting to see the integration of Ducati’s powerful race program with the new electric technology.
The bike itself is supposed to make 110kW of power, about 150 hp, with 103 lb-ft of torque. That’s more muscle than a 600 supersport or the Moto2 engines that Triumph provides. However, it’s far, far behind the top-tier GP bikes, and the V21L is expected to weigh 225 kg, which is very portly for a racebike these days. That’s still a significant drop in weight from the Energica machines; Ducati cut the fat by using a lot of expensive carbon-fibre componentry.
Ducati gave the V21L a set of Ohlins suspension front and rear (NPX 25/30 fork, TTX36 shock), as well as a steering damper and high-tech Brembo brakes (extra-thick front discs with internal cooling fins, and GP4-RR M32 monobloc four-piston calipers).
No doubt Ducati will release more details on the bikes as they undergo pre-season testing, but, the real proof of their capabilities will be at Le Mans—stay tuned!