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28 days ago
By motogp.com

Torres takes Le Mans E-Pole, Ferrari his closest challenger

Two title contenders line-up on the front row for Race 1 on Saturday, Aegerter sits on Row 2 with Casadei crashing out

Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) claimed FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup E-Pole at the SHARK Helmets Grand Prix de France, the Spaniard storming to a maiden pole position in the electric class. His 1:43.843 was enough to beat World Cup rival and title chase leader Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) by 0.329, with Mike di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) claiming P3 on home soil.

After a mixed condition Friday, the MotoE™ riders had barely any time to get to grips with Le Mans in normal conditions, so E-Pole was the first time they would be heading out on a fully dry track. Injured Lukas Tulovic (Tech3 E-Racing) was the one to set a time and it was his fastest lap of the weekend, but it was immediately beaten by Xavi Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) with the first benchmark sitting at 1:46.051. It wasn’t for long though. Alejandro Medina (Openbank Aspar Team) slammed in a 1:44.656 to go top of the pile by nearly 1.4 seconds, Alessandro Zaccone (Trentino Gresini MotoE) couldn’t match Medina’s time and went P3. Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) slotted into P2 behind teammate Medina, but the Spaniard was 0.9 seconds adrift.

Tommaso Marcon (Tech3 E-Racing) was next up and the Italian went to provisional P2, half a second shy of Medina, with Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) then taking over second place after running off track on his out-lap – 0.232 was Medina’s advantage now. Then, it was the turn of second in the title race Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) – and the Swiss rider was quickest through the second sector. Through Sector 3, Aegerter was over two tenths clear and despite a little mistake in the final sector, we had a new provisional MotoE™ polesitter. Niki Tuuli (Avant Ajo MotoE) set a lap time good enough for P4 in his E-Pole effort.

Another title contender was then strutting his stuff at Le Mans. Torres was on a flyer and having gone through Sector 3 two tenths up on Aegerter, Torres flew through the final split to take top spot by over six tenths of a second – the fastest-ever MotoE™ lap was set at Le Mans. Octo Pramac MotoE’s Josh Hook then beat Aergerter’s time by 0.016 to go P2, placing Aegerter in P3 with six riders still to come. The first of those was Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) and the Italian went P4, just 0.072 off the front row.

Ferrari was then lapping Le Mans and it was a good lap, but not quite good enough to get close to Torres. However, it was quick enough to go P2 – vital for Ferrari. Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) slotted into P7 before there was drama in E-Pole. Alex de Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) – contesting his final weekend as a rider – crashed at Turn 8 on his out-lap, before title-chasing Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) lost the front of his Energica Ego Corsa at Turn 12 when on a lap good enough for the front row. Disaster for the Italian who sits P4 in the standings, what can he salvage from there in Race 1?

Free Practice pacesetter Di Meglio was the final rider to set a lap time and the Frenchman was able to claim P3, shoving Hook off the front row and putting Aegerter down to P5. This left Torres clear at the top, the Spaniard taking Le Mans E-Pole honours in a title-deciding weekend. Lining up next to him on the grid will be Ferrari, Di Meglio will be aiming for home turf glory from the outside of Row 1. Hook launches from P4 ahead of Aegerter and Canepa, Medina spearheads a third row that consists of Simeon and Granado, Tuuli completed the top 10.

Race 1 kicks off on Saturday afternoon at 16:15 local time (GMT+2), the results of that race will determine the grid for Race 2 on Sunday. A World Cup winner will be crowned this weekend, but will Ferrari be able to take the honours on Saturday, or will the likes of Aegerter, Torres or Casadei be able to take the fight – and the advantage – into Race 2?

Be sure not to miss all the MotoE™ action from Le Mans!

Top 10:
1. Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) – 1:43.843
2. Matteo Ferrari (TRENTINO Gresini MotoE) + 0.329
3. Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) + 0.637
4. Josh Hook (OCTO Pramac MotoE) + 0.644
5. Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.660
6. Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) + 0.732
7. Alejandro Medina (Openbank Aspar Team) + 0.813
8. Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) + 0.878
9. Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) + 1.045
10. Niki Tuuli (Avant Ajo MotoE) + 1.210

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