The FIM has announced that MotoE, motorcycle racing’s premier electric series, will get a promotion for 2023 as it gains full world championship status.
The move marks Grand Prix motorcycle racing’s return to a four-class series for the first time since 1989, coming as the series moves away from production-derived Energica machines and onto Ducati’s new electric prototype race bike.
Since its inception in 2019, MotoE has had not full world championship status but rather been at FIM World Cup, denying reigning champion Dominique Aegerter the right to claim the rare achievement of becoming a world champion in two different series in the same year thanks to his simultaneous MotoE title victory and (likely) World Supersport championship victory.
However, he will have the chance to claim full world champion credit in 2023 at an all-new and revised calendar that sees the championship expanding to new circuits and a 16-race season at eight different venues.
Running as double-header race weekends, Ducati’s new and more powerful prototype machines mean that the class can now take on some of the longer (and more iconic) venues of the MotoGP season, with Mugello and Silverstone joining the likes of Assen, Misano and the Sachsenring next year. Austria’s Red Bull Ring, Circuit Barcelona and Le Mans’ Bugatti track round out MotoE’s calendar.
The news comes as part of a renewed push from series promoters Dorna for the series thanks to the arrival of Ducati, with previous one-make manufacturer Energica not shy in its final races about hinting at its unhappiness with the way in which the championship has failed to be promoted successfully by the series.
But, with Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali believed to be taking a keen personal interest in its new V21L electric machine and with the Italian marque out to establish its electric vehicle credentials with a move into MotoE, that’s likely to change now that Ducati is bringing its own considerable marketing clout to the table.
The bike first broke cover at the end of 2021 in the hands of MotoGP test rider Michele Pirro, with the Italian not just impressed with what was then very much an early version of the final race bike but blown away by it.
“Testing the MotoE prototype on the circuit was a great thrill,” he said after the test, “because it marks the beginning of an important chapter in Ducati history. 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 [MotoGP] bike.”
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