Round 3 is here! The FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup gets back on track this weekend at the Gran Premio Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini, and on Thursday it was Talk Show time for points leader Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), closest challenger Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing), Lorenzo Savadori (Trentino Gresini MotoE), Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) and Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) in the E-Paddock.
Di Meglio spoke first ahead of the pivotal weekend, with 50 points on the table over two races. “I think tomorrow will be a really good day because we ride a lot! Then I think it will be a long day on Saturday and Sunday. But it’s like normal, you need to manage it as best you can, control everything. We’ve only had two races so far and now here we have two races in one weekend and it will be important to be in the front.”
So the plan? “They’re two separate races, we need to think at our best for tomorrow because E-Pole is so important, we’ve seen if you start nearer the back it can be very difficult. Then we need to manage well the races and be on the podium, take the most points we can for the Championship and stay consistent, which is the key.”
Smith was next on the mic, just five points off the top and now at a venue at which he’s got some great memories. “I’m excited to be here, Misano is, first and foremost, an area I really like and I’ve spent a lot of time here in the last few years. The circuit is one I have some great memories at, some podiums and some pole positions, so coming here is to a track I enjoy. I was riding here a couple of months ago testing with Aprilia so let’s say I’m in the rhythm with Misano this year. Let’s see what happens!
“I was feeling good in Austria then I think the rain spoilt it a bit for us, but looking at this weekend I think it’s going to be sunny. I think this track layout is going to be enjoyable for MotoE, especially the first part is going to be fun, and two races this weekend means a lot of points up for grabs. Anyone who does well this weekend will go into Valencia in a strong position.
“I think it’s too early to be considering anything about where Mike and Xavier are, but in the back of your mind you know there are only six races so you can’t mess up at this point because it’s so difficult to get those points back. But if you’re racing for the Championship at this point, especially with the competition, I think that would be the wrong way to do it. I’m going into this weekend exactly as I did at the Red Bull Ring, I wanted to leave there with the lead and I wasn’t able to do it but I’ll use these next few days to walk into Valencia in first.”
Savadori spoke next, and he explained more about his adaptation from a very different style of riding. “This Championship is great for me. The bike is very different, I arrive from a Superbike style and it’s not easy to adapt my style to this bike but every week I improve the gap and my feeling. I hope to make a good step and take a good result here.
“It’s amazing the atmosphere here, I rode here in 125s in 2010 and to come back here after a long time…I can’t wait to start the weekend!”
Casadei was on the mic next, explaining he thinks he has some speed but it hasn’t all come together yet. “I think I’m fast…but I’ve not taken a good result yet! I crashed in Austria in E-Pole which wasn’t good. But here it’s my home race and I’m happy, ready to give it 100%.”
He was also asked about E-Pole and the new challenge of that. “It’s a big challenge because it’s so visible, and it’s just one lap. But it’s the same for all…”
Canepa finished up the Talk Show, explaining his thoughts on the machine. He’s also from ‘Superbike style’, but says he was impressed from the outset. “I really enjoy riding the bike, it’s a really fun bike and I think we were all impressed the first time we tried it, especially with the power. For sure I needed to adapt my riding style a bit, from Superbike style, but I’m enjoying it and improving, step by step getting closer to these fast guys – so we’ll see what we can do at this home round!
“I think the riding style is closer to Moto3 than Moto2, you need to have a lot of corner speed, things you don’t have so much in Superbike. This is a different riding style, Bradley and Mike were so fast in 125s and for sure they have a lot of experience on smaller bikes. I think that can be a big advantage. I never did 125s! Just Moto2. But I think it’s more similar to the former.”
Can the home heroes make some key gains this weekend? All will be revealed, with Free Practice first on Friday before E-Pole at 16:05 (GMT +2)…and then it’s time to go racing, twice. Race 1 starts on Saturday at 16:15, before Race 2 on Sunday morning at 10:05.