MotoE: Granado wins on Sunday to leave Jerez ahead
Patience was key for Eric Granado as he made it two from two in the opening weekend of FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup action, the Brazilian doing the double in style at the Gran Premio Red Bull de España. It was an LCR E-Team one-two after he passed team-mate Miquel Pons midway through the final lap around the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto too – the first time the Brazilian had led all race. Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) completed the Race 2 podium, getting the better of Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) at the final corner.
For the second day in a row, Hector Garzo (Tech3 E-Racing) got the holeshot from the middle of the front row, but he held the lead only until Turn 5, where Casadei went down the inside. The running order got a shake-up when seemingly everyone went deep into Pedrosa Corner at the other end of the back straight though, and Aegerter emerged in first ahead of pole-sitter Pons and a rider who had started all the way back in eighth: Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE™). Fourth at that point was Garzo, ahead of Casadei and Granado.
Pons was back to where he started when he overtook Aegerter at the final corner at the end of Lap 1 though, the number 71 leading the way as Okubo went the other way; passed by both Garzo and Granado on Lap 2. The top four then quickly broke away from the rest, but after Granado sliced past Garzo at the end of Lap 2, it quickly became clear that the battle for victory was going to be a race in three. Even so, the previous day’s winner seemed content to watch Pons and Aegerter chop and change at the front of the field.
Aegerter’s preferred passing zone was Turn 9, while Pons was better under brakes at Turn 6, and the lead switched and switched. Granado, meanwhile, was lying in wait, and the patience paid off as the final lap began. Aegerter made a lunge at Pons at Turn 1 but the Swiss rider went deep – too deep – and Granado took his chance to grab second, then setting his sights on his teammate.
The Brazilian was then able to get the run down the back straight and out-brake Pons at Turn 6, thereafter keeping it pinned to beat his teammate to the chequered flag by 0.217 seconds. In all the shuffling at the front, Casadei had also tagged onto the podium fight and he pinched third late on as he dived up the inside of Aegerter at the final corner, rubbing proving racing on this occasion as the Italian found some better luck on Sunday.
Okubo came home in fifth, just ahead of the two FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup title winners to date, as Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™) finished sixth and Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) seventh after a tougher Sunday. Rounding out the top 10 were rookie Alex Escrig (Tech3 E-Racing), Niccolo Canepa (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team), and Kevin Manfredi (OCTO Pramac MotoE™).
Garzo was a surprise non-finisher, the Spaniard crashing when he tried to hang in there on the outside line as Casadei overtook him for fourth at the Lorenzo Corner on Lap 5. Marc Alcoba (Openbank Aspar Team) took a tumble at the end of Lap 1 after a tangle with Lukas Tulovic (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team), and Yeray Ruiz (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) had a fast fall at Turn 4 on Lap 4, while the other 15 riders made it to the chequered flag.
In the World Cup standings, Granado now enjoys a 17-point lead on the way into France, with Aegerter his nearest rival and Pons another five points behind in third.