Casadei strikes back in stunning Race 2 showdown

Casadei Strikes Back In Stunning Race 2 ShowdownThe reigning Champion takes to the top to pip Garzo and a spectacular charge from Gutierrez to complete the podium.

Mattia Casadei (LCR E-Team) is back on top of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Championship standings after a stunning charge to victory in Race 2 in Portugal. The Italian got his elbows out and held off Hector Garzo (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) on the drag to the line, with rookie Oscar Gutierrez (Axxis-MSI) charging through to take third and his first MotoE™ podium.

Race 1 winner Nicholas Spinelli (Tech3 E-Racing) got the holeshot, holding off Garzo on take 2, but the Italian had already had some bad luck – judging his starting position ever so slightly wrong in the slot and given a double Long Lap not long after. Still, Garzo had to get it done on track before that, and the Spaniard shot past at Turn 1 on Lap 2 as Casadei overhauled teammate Eric Granado. Then, before Spinelli could take his penalty, the Italian suddenly slid out at Turn 10.

That left a gaggle of riders in a tight front group, and Casadei first struck for the front with four to go. Jordi Torres (Openbank Aspar Team), Alessandro Zaccone (Tech3 E-Racing) and Gutierrez were charging into contention too, and the latter didn’t even wait for Zaccone to serve his LLP given for his Race 1 incident, slicing past the Italian on his charge.

Garzo made the next move at the front, taking the lead back from Casadei as Gutierrez pipped past Torres, the rookie then onto the tail of Granado. But Granado’s elbows were also out and the Brazilian attacked his teammate at Turn 11, setting his sights on race leader Garzo.

But the main straight saw another shuffle as the slipstream came into play, and as the field fanned out Garzo kept his grip on the lead, with Gutierrez able to bag a two for one and slice up into second. Casadei headed teammate Granado, and it was going down to the wire.

Into Turn 1 for the final time, Gutierrez attacked Garzo as Casadei then shot past both, the Italian keeping a twitch under control to take over at the front. Garzo grabbed second again on the cutback too, and the top four locked into a tense push to the flag. But the reigning Champion just held on to take his first victory of the year, with Garzo’s second place putting him only a point behind on the way to Round 2. For Gutierrez, meanwhile, it’s a first ever MotoE™ podium in his first round as a full timer, having done two replacement rides in 2023.

Granado was forced to settle for fourth ahead of Torres and Lukas Tulovic (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™), with Kevin Zannoni (Openbank Aspar Team), Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™), Andrea Mantovani (KLINT Forward Factory Team) and Massimo Roccoli (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) completing the top ten.

That’s a wrap with Casadei back on top on track and in the standings. But it’s by a single point as MotoE™ prepares to return at le Mans –with another 14 races still to play for in 2024.Casadei Strikes Back In Stunning Race 2 Showdown