Granado battles through to beat Aegerter and Ferrari to first win of the season.
The FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup is go, and it’s a familiar name on the top step in Race 1 at Jerez.
Eric Granado (LCR E-Team) is the first electric winner of the season! The Brazilian took victory in the first race of the 2022 FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España, slicing his way through to beat second place Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) by 0.6s, with third and the final place on the podium going to Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™) after a little drama in Race 1.
That was a clash between polesitter Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team) and Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40), with the two making contact at Turn 13, the latter crashing out. Pons was given a Long Lap penalty for the incident, which subsequently became a time penalty as the number 71 ran out of time to take it – keeping him off the podium.
Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) and Casadei were the early battle for the lead, but by the halfway mark of the eight-lap race, a leading quintet formed at the front. Granado made his way through and took the lead for the first time at Turn 13 on Lap 6, making a pass stick on Casadei. Pons, meanwhile, had pounced on Garzo and then saw a gap appear underneath Casadei as Granado made his move ahead. The number 71 tagged Casadei and the Italian went down, rider ok but the incident shuffling the pack too.
Granado was clear of the drama in the lead, but behind Pons emerged second, Aegerter third, and Ferrari was up to fourth ahead of reigning Cup winner Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40). Garzo dropped to sixth after avoiding the stricken Casadei at the final corner.
Pons’ Long Lap Penalty for ‘irresponsible riding’ was then announced during the final lap, but neither he nor Aegerter had chance to act on that before the chequered flag. The Swiss rider instead pulled off a move at Turn 9, set up as he swarmed round the outside of Pons through Turn 8.
Keeping it pinned, Granado took the chequered flag 0.696 seconds ahead of Aegerter for his sixth race win in the World Cup, with Pons crossing the line in third. The penalty saw him demoted to eighth once a three seconds had been added for not taking the Long Lap, giving Ferrari that first podium of the season as the Italian was just behind over the line after a solid start to 2022.
Garzo took fourth and Torres completed the top five to kickstart his title defence, with Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE™) and rookie Alex Escrig (Tech3 E-Racing) next up. The aforementioned Pons was classified P8, and rounding out the top 10 for the first time in 2022 were Marc Alcoba (Openbank Aspar Team) and Lukas Tulovic (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team) – the German doing a good job standing in for the injured Bradley Smith despite no testing.
That’s it for Race 1 as Granado hits the competition for six… what have the field got in return on Sunday? Race 2 gets underway at 15:30 local time (GMT+2), so tune in to find out!
1 Eric Granado – LCR E-Team – Energica – 14’36.998
2 Dominique Aegerter – Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE – Energica – +0.696
3 Matteo Ferrari – Felo Gresini MotoE – Energica – +1.005
Eric Granado: “Well, I’m very happy. First of all, I want to say thank you so much to the LCR E-Team for trusting me with the job. To be with them this year is amazing and I’m very happy with the job we are doing. The bike has been perfect all weekend and I’m feeling very confident. After the start, I was a little bit behind the lead group, I had a moment there with Ferrari and I lost some time, and I said to myself, ‘No, stay calm, don’t make any mistakes.’ I tried to concentrate on catching them, and finally got there. In the end, I had a little bit more, especially in the last two sectors, and I could do the overtakes and finally win, so this is amazing. I’m so happy to start the season like this. I will be very focused on continuing in this way during the whole season, to have a beautiful end of the season for me.”
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