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Home hero Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) has taken a sensational E-Pole at the GP Octo di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini thanks to a 1:44.660. Trentino Gresini MotoE’s Matteo Ferrari claimed P2 as the Free Practice pacesetter finished just 0.048 from E-Pole, with Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) claiming the final front row spot – but there was drama for Cup contenders.
After finishing 13th at the end of the two Free Practice sessions, de Angelis was the sixth rider to head out as the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup riders headed out for their one flying laps. And the Sammarinese rider’s lap time was over a second better than Lorenzo Savadori’s (Trentino Gresini MotoE) early benchmark. Overall standings leader Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was out straight after de Angelis, but the Frenchman’s E-Pole would end at Turn 6 – a huge highside as he powered onto the straight meant Di Meglio would have to start from the back of the grid, having not set a time.
The laps kept coming but no one could better de Angelis’ time. Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) went to P3 but the Brazilian’s lap was scrubbed off for exceeding track limits at the final corner. Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP) then ran de Angelis close to go P2, displacing Maria Herrera (OpenBank Angel Nieto Team) from second place. Then, the turn of second in the Cup standings Bradley Smith. Could the One Energy Racing rider capitalise on the misfortunes of his title rival?
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The British rider put in a solid lap but could only manage P4, 0.3 off de Angelis’ time but no matter, a time on the board meant he would have a significant advantage over Di Meglio on the grid in Race 1 and Race 2. Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) then demoted Herrera off the front row, before Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) then set the timing screens alight. Up in sector one, even quicker in sector two and by the third split, the Finnish rider had over three tenths in his pocket. But then, Tuuli was down at Turn 14. The Sachsenring winner didn’t set a lap and he too would have to start from the back of the grid – drama in the title race.
Simeon – third-best in Free Practice – was then on track. Could he oust de Angelis? Not quite. The Belgian stuck his Energica Ego Corsa into P2, 0.109 off de Angelis’ time with only Ferrari to come. The Italian was up in the first split but lost time in the second. A tense wait pursued as a tenth was covering the two riders. Across the line Ferrari came, but it wasn’t to be – 0.048 the gap as de Angelis held on for an unlikely E-Pole.
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Exciting, intense, dramatic. E-Pole was magnificent and that’s only the beginning at Misano. Two MotoE™ races are to come this weekend, with the first being on Saturday afternoon at 16:15 local time (GMT+2) – you don’t want to miss a crucial race.
1. Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) 1:44.660
2. Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) + 0.048
3. Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) + 0.109
4. Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.218
5. Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) + 0.253
6. Maria Herrera (OpenBank Angel Nieto Team) + 0.263
7. Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) + 0.351
8. Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) + 0.437
9. Nico Terol (OpenBank Angel Nieto Team) + 0.880
10. Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) + 0.888
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