MotoGP: Ducati MotoE bike makes track debut at Misano

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Ducati’s 2023 MotoE project has moved to the next phase following a private test held at Misano earlier this month.

The electric bike, codenamed V21L, was put through its paces by long-serving test rider Michele Pirro. Ducati surprised everybody in October when they revealed that they would become the sole motorbike supplier for the MotoE World Cup in 2023 – taking over from Energica.

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The news was a surprise given Ducati’s previous reluctance to get involved with the electric motorcycling sector, mainly due to the performance and weight of batteries that are currently available.

These issues will remain the biggest challenge during the development of the V21L, which has been designed from scratch, ensuring that their MotoE machine can produce high levels of performance, and consistent power delivery, without being compromised by heavy batteries and low range.

“Testing the MotoE prototype on the circuit was a great thrill because it marks the beginning of an important chapter in Ducati history,” Pirro, who evaluated the technical characteristics current potential of the new machine, said.

“The bike is light and already has a good balance. Furthermore, the throttle connection in the first opening phase and the ergonomics are very similar to those of a MotoGP bike. If it weren’t for the silence and for the fact that in this test, we decided to limit the power output to just 70% of performance, I could easily have imagined that I was riding my bike.”

The project is a joint venture between Ducati Corse and Ducati R&D designers, led by Ducati eMobility Director Roberto Canè. Alongside performance and battery work, Ducati are also focusing on the development of a suitable cooling system for the bike.

Should their venture into MotoE prove to be a success, Ducati will turn their attention to a production electric sports bike for the road – however CEO Claudio Domenicali has previously stated that this wouldn’t be until after 2025.

At the original MotoE reveal, Domenicali also said that he doesn’t believe the future of performance motorcycles is solely electric, but that it will remain with internal combustion, albeit with E-Fuels rather than petrol.