The 2023 MotoE World Championship reserved for electric motorbikes in which Ducati is involved as the sole supplier with the “V21L” prototype has been officially presented at the Vallelunga circuit outside Rome, Italy. Claudio Domenicali, Ducati CEO, with Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna Sports CEO, and the representatives of the main partners presented to the press the fifth edition of the “zero emissions championship,” which for the first time will have world title status.
Domenicali said, “The decision to participate in the MotoE World Championship as the sole supplier of the bikes is a cornerstone of the Ducati strategy. In fact, electrification, together with the introduction of carbon neutral fuels for internal combustion engines (e-fuel), will be necessary to reduce Ducati’s carbon footprint and allow us to achieve our long-term sustainability goals. However, every true Ducati is above all emotion, so it is very important to manage this transition very closely, taking care to maintain the sporty character and fun-to-ride characteristics of every Borgo Panigale bike. With the V21L, we wanted to challenge the limits of the sector by aiming to create the most performing electric motorcycle ever made for the track. Above all, we wanted to develop the company’s internal expertise to be ready when battery technology, in particular weight, will make it possible to create an electric street motorcycle with all the characteristics that distinguish a Ducati. Having 18 riders with different needs and riding styles on the track at the same time represents a great opportunity for Ducati to study what could become the character of a future electric Ducati. The first tests in Jerez went very well. Despite unfavorable weather, the feedback on the bike from the riders and teams was very good, with the new unofficial circuit record. Ducati has never built such a large number of prototypes, and this too represents a challenge within a challenge for us.”
After the first official tests at Jerez at the beginning of March, the series will again see all the riders testing at Barcelona, Spain, April 3-5 to officially get the world championship underway on May 13 with the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. The calendar then includes Mugello, Italy (June 10); Sachsenring, Germany (June 17); and Assen, the Netherlands (June 24). After the summer break, the Ducati MotoE bikes will be back on track at Silverstone on Aug. 5, before tackling the three final Grands Prix at the Red Bull Ring, Austria (Aug. 19); Catalunya, Spain (Sept. 2) and Misano, Italy (Sept. 9).
A new format is envisaged for qualifying while the teams will be able to count on a completely new structure in the paddock. The format will see two free practice sessions on Friday morning, followed by two qualifying sessions in the afternoon. The two races will be held on Saturday, the first at the end of MotoGP qualifying and the second after the Sprint Race, another feature introduced in the 2023 season.
The 18 riders, supported by 9 teams, will be racing on the “V21L” prototype, designed and built by Ducati with a development process lasting just over a year and with the contribution of test riders Michele Pirro, Chaz Davies and Alex De Angelis, who at Vallelunga did some demonstration laps on the Ducati electric motorbike. For the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, this project came about to develop expertise for its future, maintaining the approach that has always fuelled Ducati’s DNA: experimenting with technological solutions in the world of racing and working so that everything developed in this area can then end up on the bikes destined for enthusiasts from all over the world.
“V21L” is the MotoGP of electric motorcycles. It combines the electronic technologies and chassis dimensions developed by Ducati Corse with a design process and project management typical of a street motorcycle such as the Panigale V4. It is the union of the best expertise of the two worlds, racing and production — a prototype with which Ducati experiments in a world yet to be discovered: that of electric sport bikes. The Ducati “V21L” prototype has a total weight of 496 pounds (26.5 pounds less than the minimum requirements imposed by Dorna and the FIM for a motorcycle capable of completing race distance) and has maximum power and torque values respectively of 150 horsepower and 103.3 foot-pounds, which on a circuit like Mugello allowed it to reach a speed of 170.9 mph.