“You have to be very fast, on the limit”: MotoE™ riders ready for take two at Assen.
The Cathedral of Speed is poised to deliver another electric weekend of racing in the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup
The FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup returns this weekend to take on the mythical TT Circuit Assen. The Cup visited for the first time last season, and now we’re back for not one, but two races.
Points leader Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) was joined in the pre-event Press Conference by closest challenger Eric Granado (LCR E-Team), recent winner Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™), Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) and the returning Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), who is fit to ride in FP1 and will be reviewed again after the session.
Here are some key quotes! Make sure to tune in for MotoE™ qualifying on Friday at 16:50 (GMT +2), before the races on Saturday at 16:25 and Sunday at 15:30.
Will your approach change this weekend given your points advantage?
“No, I think we’re looking forward to here in Assen, where I have already had some success in the Supersport class, some months ago. But now, we’re heading to the track tomorrow like it’s the first race. It’s very important because we have not so much track time, so Friday will be a busy day with two Free Practice sessions and qualifying. The weather looks also maybe a little bit tricky. We will see what the weather will be but for sure I will go out on the track like at Jerez, the first race, because 29 points is for sure a lot to gain but you can lose it in one weekend. There are still six races to go, we are concentrating race by race, and our goal is to fight for the podium here and try to do our best.”
Do you think the wet weather from pre-season testing would help or are you starting from zero if it rains this weekend?
“For me, I am riding in my third year so I already have some experience with the rain. The Michelin tyre is very good in the rain so I have good confidence and we just need to see what the weather will do. The condition in the rain is always a little bit different. Normally there is good grip now in Assen with the new asphalt, and we will see tomorrow. I hope we’ll have some dry track time to prepare maybe for Saturday or Sunday, but also when we have rain we will try our best and take some information for the riding and also for the set-up side, but in MotoE you just have these seven or eight laps you can do, and you need to be very fast, on the limit, and understand the track conditions and the bike.”
How are you feeling coming back after a pole, win, and fastest lap last year, with a new team and new format?
“I’m really happy and confident for the weekend. I’m really looking forward to going on-track tomorrow, even if it’s wet or dry. It will be good for us to do the maximum laps possible to get the feeling for the bike and prepare for the races. Yes, last year it was a great weekend for me, I tried to take this with me to bring it again this weekend, so yes, I’m really looking forward to it. The last races were not so good for us, but we managed to finish and be in the points, something that I missed in recent years, so yes, I’m confident and looking forward to the weekend.”
Do you feel satisfied that you’ve been able to keep calm and collect valuable points more consistently in 2022?
“Yes, for sure, it’s better to do a fifth position or a sixth position than a zero, but for sure I would like to have more. On Saturday [at Mugello] we were fighting for the win – unfortunately, I lost on the last lap – and on Sunday I was in the fight also. I had a great race fighting, me and Domi, all race, and Mugello has a big straight, I lost many positions on the last lap on the straight. Here, I think it will be different. It will be a big group, everyone will be fast, but I don’t think there will be so many overtakes like there were in Mugello. It’s a different weekend, different track, for sure it will be difficult as always, and I’ll do my best, as I always do, to be in the best position that I can.”
You’ve had a tougher season but you must have been really happy to win again, and on home soil?
“Yeah, really happy about Mugello, because we changed our work a little bit on Friday and I think we went the right way because I was eighth at the end of FP2 but we tried something on the bike, I rode differently compared to the first two races, and now I’m really confident on the bike. The first race was really tough with the battle with Domi, then in the second race, I started in a different way, I tried to push more, and then we won so I’m really happy about that. But, here is another track, another feeling, so tomorrow will be really important.”
Have you watched last year’s race for some tips, and will it be a completely different race compared to Mugello?
“Of course, every track is different, and you have to study and understand which corners are best to overtake other riders. Of course, here is, I think, more difficult compared to Mugello, but when you are confident with the bike, you can change the line and try in some points, so of course, today we studied a lot and we watched last year’s race. Also, I think it will be really difficult this weekend because tomorrow, I think it will rain all day, so Saturday and Sunday, if we ride in sunny conditions, it will be really difficult in the first lap.”
How do you prepare if first time into Turn 1 in dry is Lap 1 on Saturday?
“Yeah, there is no warm up lap, so it’s really difficult to start the race in this way, but mentally, I’m ready for this. Also in the past, in these four years of MotoE, we have done this so it’s not a problem.”
How are you feeling for Assen and was it just bad luck in Italy?
“Yeah, I was fast in Mugello but unfortunately I think I had a problem with the tyre – I don’t know – and I crashed on the first lap, but this is the race and we know our speed, and we’ll try to do a very good weekend here in Assen.”
Will having Jordi back affect the work in the garage?
“I missed Jordi at Mugello, he stayed at home and I missed him. But, this weekend, there he is, and there is more motivation for me, and I’m happy.”
How are you feeling? Are you ready to get back on track?
“I have a lot of things to think about tomorrow, because I know this recovery is very slow. I don’t understand, maybe because I am older, my recovery is slower. But for sure, now I don’t feel pain, but maybe riding these heavy bikes, or making so many changes of direction, something like this, I may feel pain, but I’m not sure. Maybe tracks like Catalunya are more easy, I don’t know, but in this case, with lots of changes of direction, I think this can affect me only. I tried at home on other bikes, I also went karting, something like this, and I don’t feel any pain, but I don’t have heavy bikes like this. I have a good challenge this weekend because I want to be there fighting and show what our performance is. Because in Jerez, both races, I didn’t feel too much confidence with the bike. In my mind I said, ‘Be calm, the championship is longer,’ but after Le Mans stopped my championship and I could do nothing, only stay quiet and recover, doing nothing on the sofa, leg up, nothing to do…
“I stayed in contact 100% during Mugello with my team and also saw something on TV at home that I can explain to my mechanics to help Matteo or something. But for sure, it’s important to see our teamwork. We are both riders that I think, in my heart, are competitive…
“It’s important to understand quickly at this race how the bike is, how the temperature is, or the performance of the tyres, also the weather, and react fast to become fast on the track. Also, if it’s the case that it rains tomorrow and is dry on Saturday, you can imagine how difficult it will be to adapt and work out a different reference to brake, a different reference to open the throttle. With two riders on the box, you can think more than one rider can.”
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