The opening race at Le Mans for the 2022 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup was decided at the very last corner, with pole sitter Mattia Casadei stepping atop the podium for the first time in his MotoE journey – powered by Energica – which began in the inaugural season of the series back in 2019. After joining team Pons Racing 40, the young Italian rider seems to have found the right amount of confidence and today’s win surely puts makes up for the unfortunate crash in the opening race of the season at Jerez.
The rider #27 took the lead on the opening lap from Kevin Zannoni the rider who took his place in the Sic58 Squadracorse at the end of last year. Zannoni, who showed incredible speed throughout the weekend like never before, managed to stay in touch with the leader and as the race entered its final stages, he even had a shot at winning the race: in his last attempt at the final turn, however, he low-sided and therefore lost every chance to claim what would have been his maiden podium finish in the series.
Second place went to Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt IntactGP) who really picked up the pace in the second half of the encounter. Unfortunately for him, once he had clear track ahead of him, it was a little too late to bridge the gap with the leader. Still, the experienced Swiss rider was able to narrow the gap to Eric Granado (LCR E-Team) down to five points, as the Brazilian star was only seventh at the finish line.
Japan’s Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE) took his maiden podium finish in third, ahead of Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE), Hector Garzó (Tech 3 E-Racing) and Miquél Pons (LCR E-Team). Birthday boy Niccolò Canepa and Smith’s replacement rider Andrea Mantovani (WithU GRT RNF MotoE) were eighth and ninth, respectively, with Aleix Escrig (Tech 3 Racing) rounding out the top ten despite a long lap penalty.
It was not the best day at the (French) office for reigning world cup champion Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), who had a highside on the opening lap and was ran over on one leg by a coming rider. The veteran Spanish rider broke his left fibula.
Race two will get underway tomorrow at 15:30 local time (GMT +2).