Motorsport has always been the technological training ground through which car and motorcycle manufacturers develop new technologies which, in cascade, will sooner or later also fall on the series product. In recent years, thanks to an electrification and general hybridization that, for better or worse, has landed in all categories – when it has not even created them from scratch – we have witnessed motor competitions that perhaps never before have taken place. proposed as a field for the development of cutting-edge technologies.
In this meeting organized on the occasion of the 2021 edition of the Motor Valley Fest, a round table moderated by us at Motorsport.com took place in which leading players representing the related companies and teams engaged at various levels in competitions at two and four wheels.
“At the beginning of the 2000s we made an important investment by entering MotoGP after years of militancy in Superbike”, says Davide Barana, Technical Director of Ducati Corse. “The technological fallout was immediate: MotoGP is a championship destined for prototypes, where we have the maximum freedom of experimentation. In cascade, what we have learned arrives in SBK, to be translated into the product. closer to a two-wheeled racing car than a car “.
Davide Barana, Technical Director Ducati Corse
Photo by: Motorsport.com
“The new technologies, especially those concerning an electric motor, are well suited to the needs of the bike: we have a very linear and vigorous torque delivery right from the start, with the difference compared to the traditional engine that is very tangible. I don’t think, however, it makes sense to mimic the sound of an internal combustion engine on an electric vehicle “, continues Barana.
Another house within the Volkswagen galaxy that looks with great interest at new technologies is Lamborghini, one of the reference points in the GT3 panorama. “We want to have a pyramidal approach to competitions: surely, after years in which we are doing well in GT, Le Mans is the point of arrival. Our customers ask us for it and we would like to compete too. LMH and LMdH “, declares Leonardo Galante, Lamborghini Motorsport Technical Director.
“Electrification is an irreversible process that is moving forward in a precise way. On the motorsport side, this means having to develop an emotion. But it is an emotion that is the daughter of a two-sided medal: if on the one hand we want sensations that arise. from a strong acceleration, then electric cars represent the best example. If, on the contrary, the emotion comes from the vibrations of an internal combustion engine, we already have the answer. The public attending a competition wants to see overtaking and cars that they know how to generate emotions. We need to develop technologies that know how to entertain the spectators. The absence of sound can break everything “.
Franz Tost, team principal alphatauri team
Photo by: Motorsport.com
And, speaking of sound, one category above all was almost put on the index in its transition to hybrid in 2014. Now, however, Formula 1 is back to playing, all together with performances of absolute respect, as always . And Franz Tost, Team Principal Scuderia AlphaTauri, is well aware of this. “The roar of the Ferrari V10 was the golden age of music in motorsport: we now have hybrid V6s that show eco-sustainability. Starting next year, we will have ever-increasing percentages of synthetic additives and natural fibers to be implemented in the single-seaters. We are all working on it. hard to use 100% biofuel, that’s our goal to have clean fuel in the near future. “
Those who, on the other hand, immediately made their flag electric is Energica, a company that for three years has come to the creation of a motorcycle category combined with the MotoGP, the MotoE, where two fully electric wheels race. “We had the last race in Assen, in conjunction with the MotoGP. But having raced after this category did not deprive us of the embrace of the public, who wanted to stay in the stands even though the queen category had already competed by now. The card we played together with Dorna and Irta was to create a championship that could run with the others without fear of comparisons: in races the chronometer counts. If you go faster, you win “, declares Franco Cevolini, President of Energica.
“The electric motorbike makes no noise when it is stationary, but when it moves it looks like a turbine! It is a characteristic, distinctive and typical noise. And that makes people turn when they hear one arrive on the street”, continues Cevolini.
And speaking of roads, in recent times we have seen a real proliferation of electric scooters in major urban centers. So much so that we wanted to create an ad hoc competition, as explained by Nicola Scimeca, Founder Ycom.
“We had the idea of creating a micromobility world championship, the F1 of the scooter, which we are developing from scratch. It is about inventing from scratch a discipline that did not exist before, as it was for karting when racing in cars. We now have a vehicle as close as possible to the consumer, with high handlebars, small wheels and standing-up driving. And the response and interest we are experiencing is very high, even from some MotoGP riders who have tested the whole”.