MotoGP may be planning a future support class for electric bikes, but team bosses doubt they will replace petrol-powered machines in the near future.

At least they hope not.

The representatives of Honda, Ducati, Yamaha, Suzuki, KTM and Aprilia were quick to acknowledge the role electric power will play in other forms of motorcycling.

But, performance aside, the loss of MotoGP's ground-shaking noise would be too much for many of them to bear.

"If there is electric class, it’s okay, but I’m 53 and I would miss the sound of a proper engine. This is my personal opinion," said Livio Suppo, speaking shortly before leaving his post as Repsol Honda team principal.

Ducati MotoGP Project Director Paolo Ciabatti then quipped: "I’m 60, so it’s even worse for me! I need the noise."

"I’m 45 years old and like fuel as much as Paolo and Livio!" added KTM Motorsport Director Pit Beirer. "So I’m happy we arrived in MotoGP now, with the fantastic sound of these engines and I hope we can stay there for a while.

"I don’t see that electric engines can take over the MotoGP main class in the next 15 years, also my personal opinion."

But Beirer does expect electric power to have a bigger impact in other areas, such as his own former sport of motocross, where the silent machines will open up new riding possibilities.

"Electric bike development will go on. There are fantastic projects coming up and fantastic vehicles to use on completely different places than we are used to using motorcycles at the moment.

"We can come closer to cities with electric bike engines. But I just don’t see them ready to take over all our fuel-burning love of motorcycles. Let’s wait for the future."

Continuing the theme of age admission, Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio began by declaring: "I'm not so far from 60!

"I think [electric] is the way the industry is moving," he continued. "We see cars moving in that direction, actually in the last couple of years quite fast. And also the motorcycle is looking at that. So I think it’s normal that Dorna is thinking about this [electric class].

"I don’t know if we will always have, but for many more years we will have the top class like this, maybe [petrol] engines. But in the same time, the electric category will grow more and more. I think it’s correct to experience that field and to start to study that area."

Aprilia Racing Manager Romano Albesiano is also well aware of the importance of electric power to the manufacturers, but warned the only way to approach current MotoGP performance would be to use hybrid technology.

"As you know, Aprilia is part of Piaggio Group and we just presented the electric Vespa. So we spend a lot of resources in this field. But talking about sporting motorcycles, honestly I don’t believe that there will be an electric category with a level of performance that even gets close to what we see now in MotoGP," Albesiano said.

"Maybe hybrid technology could be realistic, as in Formula 1. It would be very clever, but probably very, very expensive. So it’s difficult. It would be an interesting experiment, of course, because the future will be electric somehow.

"But a fully electric sporting motorcycle is going to be very, very difficult with the present level of technology of the batteries."

Last to speak was Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis.

"I don’t think I really have much more to add, except my age! I’m younger than some and older than others," smiled the Englishman, before highlighting the level of manufacturer backing for the electric Formula E single-seater car championship.

"From Yamaha’s side, I think our industry at the moment is still a little bit behind the car industry. But I think it’s interesting for us to see the number of manufacturers that are switching to Formula E.

"It’s exceeding my expectations, honestly speaking. Because if you look at racing itself, the emotion that you get from noise and raw power - we’re all petrol heads here I think.

"But we have to give credit to the Formula E class, because it is growing and a lot of manufacturers are stopping other sporting disciplines in order to invest in electric.

"I’m sure that in the future in the motorcycle industry, electric vehicles will definitely play a greater and greater role. So, I think it’s absolutely the right time for Dorna to begin, but it will take a long time.

"It will probably never take over the MotoGP class, but it might replace another class."

Like Beirer, Jarvis also sees off-road motorcycles as the obvious target for an electric revolution.

"Definitely in other disciplines - maybe enduro, maybe motocross - where noise is a much more sensitive issue… I think they probably have a big future there."

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