The opening race of the Austrian Grand Prix for the MotoE class was marked by two key moments: one at the very beginning, while the other took place just before the chequered flag was deployed. The latter saw Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) crashing out on the last lap while holding a solid lead, and this opened the door for the LCR E-Team’s fourth win of the season as Eric Granado edged World Cup leader Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt IntactGP) and teammate Miquel Pons at the line.
As the second day of action at the Red Bull Ring draws to a close, Aegerter and Granado are arguably the only two riders left in the battle for the ultimate prize (26.5 points currently separate the two). This is especially true after Matteo Ferrari‘s surprising low side at turn one on the opening lap. The standard bearer of team Felo Gresini Racing MotoE was able to re-join the race aboard his Energica Ego Corsa and finish fourteenth, but his current gap to the top of the standings – 63 points with 75 still up for grabs – makes his mission to reclaim the MotoE throne close to impossible now.
The threat of rain – which luckily did not turn into a downpour – meant that several riders chose to take a conservative approach in the early stages of the race. This was not the case for Casadei, who pushed hard from the beginning and managed to pull away – seemingly untouchable. Granado, however, was not keen on letting him go and after getting the better of Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta Sic58 Squadracorse), he put together a series of extremely competitive laps (which included the new outright lap record of 1’41.064secs) and bridged the gap to first place. The two exchanged positions a few times but, after the Italian rider stretched his lead once again, he ended up losing it altogether it in a matter of milliseconds as he rolled his way into the gravel trap on the outside of turn nine.
Aegerter’s damage limitation was successful as he kept Pons at bay in the final stages, while Japan’s Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE) edged out team Tech 3 E-Racing’s Hector Garzo and Alex Escrig for fourth place. Zannoni, Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), Xavi Forés and Kevin Manfredi (Octo Pramac MotoE) completed the top ten in seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth, respectively.
Race two for the 2022 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will get underway tomorrow at 15:30 local time (GMT +2).