MotoE 2023 World Championship: 16 races across 8 European Grand Prix with plans for further expansion
In an interview with Speedweek.com, Nicolas Goubert, the MotoE Executive Director, explained the key requirements on which Ducati developed the new standard bike for the MotoE World Championship, the V21L.
Goubert stated that the bike should be as light as possible (the result is 225 kg) and be competitive compared to the Moto3 class, which was not fully achieved during the first test in Jerez due to the changeable weather. Furthermore, it was essential for the Dorna officials that the range of the bike should enable a constant race distance (approximately eight laps) regardless of the demands of any GP track and external conditions.
Ducati has officially presented the “V21L” prototype, an electric motorcycle designed and built by the company to participate in the 2023 MotoE World Championship. Ducati is the sole supplier of the bikes for this championship, which will have world title status for the first time.
The company’s CEO, Claudio Domenicali, stated that the decision to participate in the MotoE World Championship as a sole supplier of electric bikes is a cornerstone of the company’s strategy towards long-term sustainability goals. The V21L prototype has a total weight of 225 kg and maximum power and torque values of 110 kW (150 hp) and 140 Nm, respectively, making it the most performing electric motorcycle ever made for the track.
Ducati is aiming to maintain the sporty character and fun-to-ride characteristics of every Borgo Panigale bike while managing this transition very closely. The company is also studying what could become the character of a future electric Ducati by having 18 riders with different needs and riding styles on the track at the same time.
The 2023 MotoE World Championship will start on May 13 with the French Grand Prix at Le Mans, and the Ducati MotoE bikes will race at five other Grand Prix circuits before the final race in Misano on September 9.
There is a particular reason for this: “So far, the MotoE only races in Europe, but in the future, we want to race in the USA or Malaysia someday,” revealed Goubert. “Therefore, we need a bike that can withstand 15 minutes in Malaysia, where it is scorching hot.”
Is there already a timeline for the MotoE’s first overseas GP? “Definitely within the contract period with Ducati; we now have a four-year contract. We will undoubtedly hold some races overseas during this time,” announced the MotoE Executive Director to SPEEDWEEK.com.
Then the Frenchman added: “My wish is to do it next year. But I can’t commit to that yet because it depends on the calendar.”
One challenge is that “A charging station weighs about 800 kg. We have one per bike, so 18 in total, plus two as spares. When you add the weight of the bike, that’s more than one ton of cargo per rider. With 20 bikes, it’s definitely not sustainable by air,” admitted Goubert. The associated transport costs cannot be overlooked either. “So we have to ship some things by sea. We have to carefully consider the calendar for that.”
“If it happens, it will be at the beginning or end of the season, so we have time to ship everything. But we don’t want the gap to be too big between the races in Europe,” Goubert pointed out. “That causes us a bit of a headache. It’s challenging. The calendar is usually decided in September, and things can still change afterwards – so I don’t know if it will work next year.”
The MotoE calendar for 2023 includes races in France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Austria, and Spain, with a total of eight races starting in May and ending in September. As the MotoE World Championship continues to grow, the possibility of an overseas GP is becoming more and more realistic.
The challenge will be to ensure that the logistics and costs of transporting the bikes and charging stations are sustainable while maintaining a competitive and thrilling race experience for riders and fans alike.
The 2023 MotoE World Championship schedule:
May 13 – Le Mans (France
June 10 – Mugello (Italy)
June 17 – Sachsenring (Germany)
June 24 – Assen (Netherlands)
August 5 – Silverstone (United Kingdom)
August 19- Red Bull Ring (Austria)
September 2- Catalunya (Spain)
September 9 – Misano (Italy)