Why Is There Only One Manufacturer Involved in MotoE?

Surely the series would be better served with more than one manufacturer?

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The recent announcement that Ducati would be supplying bikes for the MotoE race series in place of Energica from 2023 came as a shock but would the series have benefitted from more than one supplier?

Does MotoE Need More Than One Manufacturer?

Why Is There Only One Manufacturer Involved in MotoE?
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Energica Ego
Production bike-based race bike for MotoE from inception to end of 2023

It might have some way to go to gain the same popularity as its petrol-powered counterparts, but MotoE was a series that Dorna, the rights holder for MotoGP, had to initiate, if only to ensure the long-term survival of circuit racing at World Championship level. By and large, you’d have to say that it has succeeded.

The first manufacturer involved was Italian company Energica and it has to be said that the racing was pretty good, if somewhat strange with no screaming exhaust notes.

When Energica said they were pulling out at the end of 2023, naturally there was speculation as to who would be taking its place. There were many likely contenders but the manufacturer that got the contract to supply bikes was the least expected: Ducati.

Why Is There Only One Manufacturer Involved in MotoE?
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Triumph TE-1 Concept
Would Triumph be interested in going head-to-head with Ducati?

Of all major manufacturers, Ducati has been the most reticent when coming forward with its electrification plans, almost to the point where it looks as if they are in denial. Indeed, they have dismissed at times the idea that any Ducati would ever plug into a wall socket! But that it has to happen is obvious. Going racing is good for them as it sits well with its core heritage, which is....erm...racing, while keeping them in the vanguard of electrification without having to do much about it in a road bike sense.

So, Ducati is set to be the sole supplier of racing bikes to the MotoE championship. But is one manufacturer enough and is MotoE going down the right road?

MotoGP is a prototype racing series whereas MotoE in the Energica era involved road-going sports bikes adapted for racing. No doubt the racing helped improve the breed but it was hardly pushing the boundaries.

By giving the series’ supply to Ducati, it might become a prototype series, as Ducati won’t offer the race bikes for sale to anyone else, but it will be Ducati against itself, hardly the platform to push a manufacturer to ever greater heights. And, right now, what the industry needs in the face of a wholesale change to electrification, is accelerated development, something that is virtually guaranteed if you are competing against someone. Not only that, but bringing in another manufacturer has the potential to up the competition stakes and that, in turn, ups the spectator entertainment.

Why Is There Only One Manufacturer Involved in MotoE?
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Kawasaki Electric Concept
Kawasaki making no bones about their intentions for road bikes. Racing in MotoE would make sense for them.

There is a great opportunity to change the perception of what electric bikes can be but that has been passed up for some reason. Maybe there weren’t any other takers but I find that hard to believe, what with the likes of Kawasaki, Triumph, Honda and even Harley Davidson deep into development (or, in the case of H-D, actual production) of electric bikes. None of them are likely to field a MotoGP team entry but MotoE might have been tempting as a global showcase.

Ducati’s agreement runs to the end of the 2026 season. Let’s hope that, by then, there are more manufacturers scratching at the door, waiting to be let in and that MotoE can become a competitive championship not just among the riders, but among manufacturers as well.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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