Down to the wire: the first round of the 2022 Global Series delivers drama in spades!.
The critical phase of the 2022 MotoGP™ eSport Championship produced two brilliant races, both decided on the last lap.
The MotoGP™ eSport Championship roared back into life with two dramatic races as the 2022 Global Series kicked off at the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello during the #ItalianGP.
For the sixth year in succession, the Global Series pits the fastest gamers from around the world against one another over five rounds and ten races. Each finalist has been chosen to represent one of the twelve current MotoGP™ teams as they fight it out to become the 2022 MotoGP™ eSport Champion.
And on the basis of Friday’s racing, this year’s Global Series will be unmissable. Former champions adriaan_26 and AndreaSaveri11 fought in an epic tussle in the first race of the year, while Trast73 and PieroRicciuti55, the two stars of the 2021 series, battled for victory in the second.
The first round came live from the wonderful Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello during the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, with Gavin Emmett presenting the event at the eSport stage, constructed on the inside of the track. MotoGP™’s Jack Appleyard and Jack Gorst were on commentary duties, and were joined by special guests for the action.
American Moto2™ superstar Cameron Beaubier was on hand to cast his eye over the action in race one, held at the Sachsenring in wet conditions over ten laps. Soon after eight-time MotoGP™ race winner Maverick Viñales joined the commentary team to offer some unique insights on race two, held around the stunning Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello in dry conditions, this one held over eight laps.
Suzuki ECSTAR eSports Team AndreaSaveri11 set pole position for both encounters on Thursday and there was drama from the very first lap of race one. Adriaan_26 (Repsol Honda Team) jumped into an early lead, while there were problems for likely contenders Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP™’s Trast73 and Cristianmm17 (LCR Honda CASTROL eSports Team), who ran off track on the first lap.
AndreaSaveri11 then began to put long-time leader Adriaan_26 under intense pressure, closing right onto his rear tyre. Despite an attempted pass at turn one, Adriaan_26 just held on to win an absorbing contest by just 0.3s! The impressive Jack Hammer4658 (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) took a first podium in third, while Trast73 recovered to fourth.
And the drama didn’t end there. Adriaan_26 crashed out on the first lap of race two, while Trast73 claimed an early lead from AndreaSaveri11 and PieroRicciuti55 (Ducati Lenovo eSport Team), who was keen to atone for a crash in race one. PieroRicciuti55 was the quickest of the trio however, and soon closed in on Trast73, who was setting an intense rhythm at the front.
On the penultimate lap the Ducati Lenovo eSport Team rider took the lead at turn one, only for Trast73 to show exactly why he is a three-time champion in this series. The Yamaha man responded with a clever move at turn five to retake first almost immediately, a place he would hold to the flag by just 0.2s! AndreaSaveri11 completed an excellent evening of work by coming home third.
As a result of this absorbing action, standings couldn’t be closer after round one. Just eleven points cover the first five riders with Trast73 leading the way on 38 points. AndreaSaveri11 is just two points behind on 36 points, while Adriaan_26 (32 points), PieroRicciuti55 (28 points) and Jack Hammer4658 (27 points) are all right in the mix.
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