Ducati has announced that it will be the official motorcycle supplier for the FIM MotoE World Cup, the all-electric racing class included at select rounds of the MotoGP World Championship. The brand’s partnership is set to begin with the 2023 racing season and will continue through 2026. Ducati Motor Holding CEO Claudio Domenicali and Dorna Sports CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta were both on hand for the announcement and comment at a press conference held at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli.
The news of Ducati’s involvement in the MotoE class comes shortly following the announcement that Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer Energica will not be extending its contract as the official motorcycle supplier for the MotoE championship after the 2022 season.
Energica was considered a natural fit for the MotoE racing series when the World Cup began in 2019. It is one of the few manufacturers of high-performance electric motorcycles. The Energica Ego Corsa racebike used by all MotoE race teams is based directly on its street-legal electric superbike, the Energica Ego.
“We are extremely happy at Energica to have provided our invaluable contribution to make MotoE the success it is today,” Energica Motor Company CEO Livia Cevolini said two days ago when it was announced 2022 would be Energica’s final year in MotoE. “We’re confident that our initiative and efforts have generated plenty of interest from the big OEMs to follow the path we started a decade ago. Being pioneers of electric mobility on two wheels, we have opened up the way to a whole new strata of sustainable and exciting motorcycle racing and, as we have always done, we now aim at testing ourselves with new challenges.”
In his public statements, Domenicali made it clear that Ducati will utilize its experiences in the MotoE paddock to help develop production motorcycles. Those sentiments are supported in the official press release, with the brand stating that its “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.”
While many see the electrification of automobiles and motorcycles as a foregone conclusion, Ducati’s involvement in MotoE and its statements relating to production motorcycles can be seen as its first significant commitment to a line of Ducati electric motorcycles. However, there is no definitive timeline for when we can expect electric Ducatis to hit dealers.
Although Ducati does not sell electric motorcycles, the brand has partnered with Italian bicycle manufacturer Thok E-Bikes to create a range of Ducati pedal-assist e-bikes, showing interest in an electric segment. Also, Ducati’s parent company, the Volkswagen Group, builds a variety of electric automobiles, including the Audi e-tron line and the VW ID.4.
“We are proud of this agreement because,” Domenicali explained, “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,” Domenicali continued. “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.”
Ezpeleta also commented on Ducati’s foray into electric motorcycle racing: “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.”
Jordi Torres, riding for the Pons Racing 40 team, won the 2021 MotoE World Cup title after a tight battle with Dynavolt Intact GP’s Dominique Aegerter. It was Torres’ second consecutive MotoE championship.