The countdown is almost over! At this weekend’s Shark Helmets Grand Prix de France we’ll find out who will be the 2020 FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup winner, with the season finale prepped and ready to race at the French classic venue of Le Mans. In the pre-event Press Conference, points leader Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) was joined by second overall Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), third Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), next man up Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse), home hero Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) and Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE).
De Angelis started the Press Conference with an emotional announcement that he’s retiring from competition after this weekend, before talk returned to the two races ahead.
Here are the key quotes about the weekend, with more on de Angelis’ announcement below.
Matteo Ferrari: “I’m happy to be here because for the second year I’m first in the standings and I can fight for the victory. So thanks to my team because they continued to believe in me this year and we improved the laptimes a lot, in Misano, and in the test we were very fast. So I’m happy to be in front and I’ll try to do my best this weekend. And also it will be good for me because there are a lot of fast riders in MotoE this year so we can fight a lot until the end.
“It will be different because this is a new track but last year in MotoE all the tracks were new! So for me it’s not a problem, I have good experience on new tracks with MotoE. Tomorrow will be very important because we only have two free practices and not many laps to try and ride the bike. And of course the weather will be big news tomorrow… we will see the conditions but I’ll try to do my best.”
Dominique Aegerter: “Here I know the track from the past in 125 and in Moto2. I was a bit unlucky in the second race in Misano and got crashed out so I lost the lead but we’re ready to fight again here, I prepared well at home and I’m looking forward to riding here in Le Mans. We’ll try to be fast and fight again with the top group. And like Matteo said, we don’t have so many laps to learn the track and set up the bike. Maybe the weather will be half-half so we’ll see. But the team do a great job and I’ll try to ride well.
“I think here we will have the same advantage as everyone because they have no data from last year so everyone starts from zero. For sure those who rode here last year or in the past on this track, they know the track well. The other thing is when it’s wet – I don’t have any wet practice with the MotoE bike so that will be new for me. But in the past I was fast in the rain and I think with these Michelin tyres we will have a lot of grip.”
Jordi Torres: “100% this weekend! We need to put everything on the table and try to fight, be aggressive, for our goals it’s not possible to finish second or third. Like anyone we’ll try and win the Cup. We’ll see what happens here! We’re excited to see this weekend, for the weather and in the wet because we never tried it in the past. Maybe it’ll be very different compared to standard bikes in the wet. We’re excited for this because we have high motivation to fight here, to be with the top guys.
“There are zero things in my mind – only fight, push harder and make some great overtakes. Do everything to be fast here. We don’t know anything about Le Mans, zero MotoE experience here and my last ride here was in 2014 – very long ago! I think tomorrow could be wet, we’ll see how wet conditions are, and then maybe E-Pole in the dry could make it a disaster weekend or make some great points in the standings!”
Mattia Casadei: “My dream is to win the Cup but it’s not easy! The other guys go very so fast, I’ll try to do my best and we’ll see what happens on Saturday in the first race and Sunday in the second. I want to win a race in my season because I took third and second but haven’t won, so this weekend I’ll try to win one race.
“I remember in the race in Austria last year in the wet I wasn’t so strong. But it’s the same conditions for everyone and I’ll try my best!”
Mike Di Meglio: “It’s very special to be here, with no public I hope on Sunday we can see some flags because it’s special to see the French flag. It pushes me to be stronger, I hope to do a nice weekend. I like this track, I’ve done many laps here but with MotoE it will be different. I’ll try to enjoy it for the last two races.
“The feeling compared to last year isn’t perfect. I think I lost some aggression in the gas with my big highside in Misano! But the feeling is getting back step by step. In Misano I was getting better from Race 1 to the second week, I pushed too much because I had Tulovic crash in front of me and I had to start at the back for the second race but fortunately managed to finish sixth
“Here is a special track I know well but with MotoE you need to adapt. Tomorrow it will be fun if it’s raining and then E-pole is dry, I think every rider will be stressed and have to do a strong warm up lap to arrive fast for one lap! But it’s the same for everyone. We need to manage it well and try and arrive in a good position.”
Alex de Angelis: “The plan is the same. When a rider goes on track, closing the visor… you want to do your best and try and get the best results. I will make the same strategy being a professional rider! I don’t know what exactly can happen in my head during this weekend because now for sure it’s different but I want to get the best result of the season. Even in Misano, even if I didn’t tell anyone, I knew in my heart it was the last Misano of my career and I tried to push like crazy… and I had the record lap on the track. So I want to finish in the best way – being fast.”
That’s a wrap from Thursday! Tune in for another stunning E-Pole session earlier than normal on Saturday at 11:45 (GMT +2), before Race 1 gives the contenders their first chance at taking the Cup at 16:20. The final race of the season then begins at the later time of 15:40 (GMT +2) on Sunday.
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