Di Meglio masters Austria E-Pole to edge out Simeon

EG 0,0 Marc VDS rider beats the Belgian by just 0.011 as Smith completes the front row

2008 125cc World Champion Mike Di Meglio has taken FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup E-Pole honours at the myWorld Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich after sticking in a 1:35.182 to place his EG 0,0 Marc VDS Energica Ego Corsa just 0.011 ahead of second-place Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), One Energy Racing’s Bradley Smith completes the front row in Austria.

The inclement weather that was predicted was nowhere to be seen as perfect conditions allowed the second-ever E-Pole to get going without any troubles. Randy de Puniet (LCR E-Team) was the first to head out but the Frenchman’s lap time was cancelled due to exceeding track limits, as the riders filed out one-by-one to for a single lap dash for E-Pole.

Simeon was seventh quickest at the end of FP3 and when he headed out, the Belgian made no mistake to go top of the timing screens. Six riders were to follow the former MotoGP™ rider who had set his best lap of the weekend, a 1:35.193 was the time to beat. Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) was the first rider to try and beat Simeon’s time but the Italian crashed at Turn 4 to end his chances of a good grid slot. Championship leader Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) then attempted to go P1, but the Finnish rider could only manage third behind Simeon and Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP).

Smith then stuck in a lap time good enough for P2, a slight error in the first sector may have cost the British rider E-Pole as he lost out to Simeon by just over a tenth. Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) then set about trying to top his teammates time, but the Brazilian produced a scruffy lap to sit nearly seven-tenths down. Now, it was down to two: Di Meglio and Free Practice pacesetter Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing).

Di Meglio went out and was under at the first split, but it was tight around the whole lap. The Frenchman lost time in the third sector, however, he would snatch P1 away from Simeon by a slender 0.011. Could Garzo then claim E-Pole? It wasn’t to be for the Spaniard, Garzo slotted into sixth after as the top seven were separated by 0.221 in a close-fought encounter.

So the grid will be led by Di Meglio, with Simeon and Smith joining him on the front row as the E-polesitter aims to claim a victory having crossed the line third in Germany. Raffin does well to go from P10 in Free Practice to P4 in E-Pole, with Sachsenring winner Tuuli completing the top five. A battle looks set to be well and truly on in Round 2 of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, so tune in on Sunday at 10:00 local time (GMT+2) to see the electric class go racing!

Top 10:
1. Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) – 1:35.182
2. Xavier Simeon (Avinita Esponsorama Racing) + 0.011
3. Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) + 0.129
4. Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.183
5. Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) + 0.203
6. Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) + 0.208
7. Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) + 0.221
8. Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) + 0.592
9. Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) + 0.706
10. Maria Herrera (OpenBank Angel Nieto Team) + 1.084

Click here for the full results! 

Watch every 2019 race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole motogp.com video library, including technical features, exclusive interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass