Just 0.021 splits the front row as the Italian pips Aegerter and Zannoni in Le Mans.
Pons Racing 40’s Mattia Casadei created a little bit of history in qualifying for Round 2 of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup at the SHARK Grand Prix de France, and by a single thousandth. In just the second running of the Q1-Q2 format for the electric series, Casadei became the first rider to go through Q1 and convert it into pole, joined on the front row by Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) and Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse)… and all three are covered by just 0.021.
Casadei topped the session with a pretty commanding performance, bouncing back from a crash earlier in the day at Turn 1. He had another moment there in Q1, but it didn’t put paid to his progress. Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE™) also progressed, with both adding some extra juice to their Energica Ego Corsas before getting ready to head back out. Two surprises out in Q1 were Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team) and Hector Garzo (Tech3 E-Racing), with both starting down the order and ones to watch when the lights go out.
Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) was an early pace-setter in Q2 before Casadei clocked a 1:43.559 to go top in the 10th and final minute, slotting in the lap just before the chequered flag. Aegerter and Casadei’s teammate Jordi Torres then looked like threats to snatch pole as red sectors flew in, but neither could quite do it – the former within a single thousandth.
Torres may well have lost precious time in passing Zannoni on his final hot lap too, with a 1:43.682 putting the reigning Cup winner fourth and then fifth once Aegerter came through. Eric Granado (LCR E-Team), who won both races at Jerez, takes fourth to head the front row.
Casadei, Aegerter and Zannoni head the front row ahead of Granado, who’ll be looking for a good launch from fourth. Torres is fifth ahead of Okubo, with the Japanese rider showing some good speed at Le Mans for a second row start.
Row 3 sees Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™) line up ahead of Niccolo Canepa (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™), with Xavi Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) P9 on his return and rookie Xavi Fores (Octo Pramac MotoE) taking a key step forward into tenth.
That’s the grid for both races this weekend, so tune in for the first on Saturday at 16:25 (GMT +2), before Race 2 on Sunday at 15:30!
MotoE™ front row
1 Mattia Casadei – Pons Racing 40 – Energica – 1’43.559
2 Dominique Aegerter – Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™ – Energica – +0.001
3 Kevin Zannoni – Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse – Energica – +0.021
Mattia Casadei: “I’m feeling very good. This pole position is for my team, because at the start of FP2, I made a mistake and I crashed in the fastest corner in the track. They did a massive job to recover the bike and this is a P1 and it’s fantastic.”
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