MotoGP: Ducati to become sole supplier in MotoE in 2023
Ducati will become the sole bike supplier in the MotoE World Cup from the 2023 season, signing a four-season deal with Dorna.
The MotoGP manufacturer will take over from fellow Italian company Energica, which announced its withdrawal at the end of the 2022 season earlier this week. Energica has been the supplier since the electric class' inaugural season in 2019.
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"This is a very important step for us because we are continuing to do what we've done in the past, but with the technology that for sure will come on two wheels in the future, even for production motorcycles," Claudio Domenicali, CEO Ducati Motor Holding, said.
"At Ducati, our core values are style, sophistication and performance so we decided to enter electrical mobility from the top and there is no better way than competition to test and learn. We want our engineers to become as good as they are at developing internal combustion engines and I think everyone can say our engine in MotoGP is one of the fastest, if not the fastest."
The development of the bike is in the very early stages, with Domenicali explaining that Ducati will be spending all of 2022 developing and testing the bike as much as possible so that it's ready for 2023. Ducati want to provide the performance requested by Dorna, whilst also trying to ensure that the bike is as light as possible.
Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta revealed that MotoE will remain as a World Cup series, with no imminent change to a World Championship expected as things stand.
MotoE has been growing in size since 2019, with Jordi Torres winning the last two championships. Torres was crowned 2021 champion afetr a controversial finale which saw Dominique Aegerter penalised for making contact with Torres on the final lap. Matteo Ferrari won the inaugural season after winning two of the six races held.
Ducati are creating the MotoE bike from scratch, but hope to have a road version in production sometime after 2025, once they can be certain that the battery technology available to them is good enough to not compromise the bike's performance.
“The biggest challenge is the weight compared to the range. The main problem with lithium is that the energy density that you can charge with the lithium is 15-20 times less than fuel. The battery is the fuel for an electric motorcycle, the amount of fuel that you need to load in terms of kilograms is super heavy, so this is the big challenge We need to learn how to make the best use of the energy.”
Domenicali added that he doesn't believe that the future of performance motorcycles is solely electric, but that it will remain with internal combustion, albeit with E-Fuels rather than petrol.