Big news out of the Ducati camp, as the Bologna-based manufacturer has announced it has reached an agreement with Dorna to be the sole supplier for the all-electric MotoE World Cup, which races alongside MotoGP at select rounds. Ducati’s involvement will begin in 2023 through at least 2026.
The news comes as Energica recently announced its partnership with the series was coming to an end following the conclusion of its contract in 2022. Energica’s Ego Corsa electric race bikes were the first, and so far only, motorcycle the MotoE series has ever known, so the announcement of Energica’s departure at the end of next year left many to wonder who would take its place.
With this latest announcement, Ducati has boldly claimed its entry into the electric motorcycle arena. In classic Ducati style, it is entering the world of racing to fast-track development of several different technologies – all with an eye towards a future electric motorcycle that will be available to anyone.
It’s far too early to know any details of either the Ducati MotoE racer or the future production bike, other than the sketch you see here and the references by Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali that the motorcycle must carry the Ducati DNA. We can infer that to mean it has to be light, sporty, and engaging. Speaking of weight, one of the Achilles heels of electric motorcycles has been how heavy they are, a byproduct of the large batteries required to run a full race distance (usually about eight laps) at full power. Bringing the weight down was one area Domenicali singled out as a primary objective, his optimism brought on by the continual advancements in battery technology.
Interestingly, the timing of this partnership also coincides with the Volkswagen Group announcing electric mobility as an “essential element” of its 2030 “New Auto” strategy. The Volkswagen Group, we remind you, is Ducati’s parent company.
More updates regarding Ducati’s electric future will be released as they come. In the meantime, you can find Ducati’s full press release below.
Ducati Begins Electric Era: It Will Produce Bikes for FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup From 2023 Season
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.