It’s no secret that Ducati will be the sole bike supplier of the MotoE championship from 2023, but until now we hadn’t seen any physical evidence that the bike actually existed. Could the team from Borgio Panigale pull off such a radical departure from their petrol infused DNA?
Turns out the answer was yes with the bike making its real-world debut at Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli in mid-December.
Ducati calls the electric motorcycle prototype the "V21L", with the bike the result of the joint work of the Ducati Corse team and the Ducati R&D engineers, led by Ducati’s eMobility Director, Roberto Canè.
The man behind the bars of the V21L’s maiden voyage out on track was, Michele Pirro, a professional rider and Ducati test rider since 2013, who was given the unenviable task of evaluating the technical characteristics and potential of Ducati’s first electric motorcycle.
“Testing the MotoE prototype on the circuit was a great thrill because it marks the beginning of an important chapter in Ducati history,” Pirro says of the experience.
“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."
As always in the sector, the most important challenges in the development of an electric racing motorcycle remain related to the size, weight and range of the batteries. Ducati's goal is to make electric motorcycles that are high-performance and characterized by their lightness available to all FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup participants. The focus of the project are, in addition to better performance, the containment of weight and the consistency of power delivery during the race obtained thanks to the attention in the development of a cooling system suitable for the objective.
The fact that Ducati has the bike out publicly testing is a good sign and one that isn’t lost on the team behind the V21L, including Ducati eMobility Director Roberto Canè.
"We are experiencing a truly extraordinary moment,” he said.
“I find it hard to believe it is reality and still not a dream! The first electric Ducati on the track is exceptional not only for its uniqueness but also for the type of undertaking: challenging both for its performance objectives and for its extremely short timescales. Precisely for this reason, the work of the whole team dedicated to the project has been incredible and today's result repays us for the efforts made in recent months. We are certainly not finished yet; indeed, we know that the road ahead is still very long, but in the meantime, we have laid a first important 'brick'."