In an absolutely belting FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup race at the SHARK Grand Prix de France, One Energy Racing’s Eric Granado emerged victorious after a last lap pass sealed the Brazilian a first win of the 2021 season. Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) took P2 from 15th on the grid despite crossing the line third, with Cup standings leader Alessandro Zaccone (Octo Pramac MotoE) demoted one position for exceeding track limits on the last lap.
Before the start of the race, both Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team) – who was scheduled to start from P2 – and Andrea Mantovani (Indonesian E-Racing MotoE) crashed on their out-laps, causing them to miss the race. A disaster for the Spaniard and Italian riders.
Polesitter Granado was the rider to get the best getaway in the dry conditions but it was Alessandro Zaccone (Octo Pramac MotoE) who was bravest into Turn 3, the Jerez race winner was into the lead. The Italian was out of shape as he squeezed on the power but he held the lead, with everyone safely negotiating the tricky Turn 3 and 4 chicane on Lap 1. Zaccone was then wide at Turn 8 though and this allowed Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) to grab the lead. Granado was shoved down to P6 on the opening lap.
Out of nowhere, Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE) was into P2 from 10th on the grid before the Japanese rookie was into the lead at Turn 7. It was a sensational start to the race but drama was about to unfold at Turn 3 on the third lap between two rookies: Okubo and Fermin Aldeguer (Openbank Aspar Team). Coming into the chicane very hot, Aldeguer was up the inside but couldn’t keep his Energica Ego Corsa rubber side up, and the helpless Okubo was taken out – riders ok.
Zaccone was then back in the lead at Turn 11 on Lap 3, as a MotoE™ freight train battled it out in spectacular fashion at Le Mans. The top eight were locked together with Granado picking his way back through the pack, he was up to P3 and then swiftly made that P2 on the penultimate lap, passing Aegerter at Turn 13 – a move we’d see again a couple of minutes later.
Zaccone was the race leader on the last lap but went slightly deep into Turn 3. This cost him a good exit heading down the hill into Turn 6, and Granado pounced. But in doing so, the latter went wide and left a gap, which Zaccone gobbled up to gain the lead once again. Aegerter nearly tagged the back of Granado at Turn 7 as he and Lukas Tulovic (Tech3 E-Racing) were forced slightly wide, allowing Casadei to move into P3.
A move for the race lead didn’t come until Turn 13. Just as he did a lap earlier, Granado sliced his way up the inside, this time Zaccone his victim. The Italian snapped straight back though and shoved his machine up the inside at the final corner, but he was wide. Granado slipped back through and took the chequered flag in P1 to make up for his Jerez crash, with Zaccone crossing the line second ahead of Casadei.
However, at the end of the race, Zaccone was handed a one-place penalty for exceeding track limits at Turn 14, meaning it was Casadei that took P2. Granado’s win beings him right back into the title frame having crashed in Jerez, with Casadei level on points with fourth place finisher Aegerter now after his P2. Zaccone, despite a P3, extended his lead to eight points.
Reigning World Cup winner Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) and sixth place Yonny Hernandez (Octo Pramac MotoE) finished less than a second away from the win, Tulovic crossed the line in seventh having held P3 in the latter stages. Matteo Ferrari (Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE) made a mistake at Turn 10 on the penultimate lap that cost him a chance at fighting for a first rostrum of the year, the 2019 World Cup winner finished P8.
Corentin Perolari (Tech3 E-Racing) and Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) rounded out the top 10, with Kevin Zannoni (LCR E-Team), Andre Pires (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), teammate Xavi Cardelus, Jasper Iwema (Pons Racing 40) and Aldeguer completing the points.
Arguably the best MotoE™ race there has been since the beginning of the electric class, as 2021 starts in dazzling style. The next time we’ll see the MotoE™ riders heading into battle is at the Catalan GP at the start of June.
1. Eric Granado (One Energy Racing)
2. Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) + 0.306
3. Alessandro Zaccone (Octo Pramac MotoE)* + 0.253
4. Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) + 0.532
5. Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) + 0.640
6. Yonny Hernandez (Octo Pramac MotoE) + 0.900
7. Lukas Tulovic (Tech3 E-Racing) + 1.045
8. Matteo Ferrari (Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE) + 1.751
9. Corentin Perolari (Tech3 E-Racing) + 4.727
10. Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) + 4.999