This week’s Last On The Brakes MotoGP™ Podcast is with FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup star Eric Granado (One Energy Racing). The Brazilian is the shining light for his country in the two-wheel motorsport sphere and in this latest episode, Granado delves into what it means for him to be representing his country on the world stage.
Granado is currently second in the MotoE™ standings – seven points adrift of leader Alessandro Zaccone (Octo Pramac MotoE) – heading into the final two races of the season, meaning he has a fantastic chance of claiming the 2021 crown at Misano. But what was it that made Granado start this journey to World Championship motorcycle racing? Unsurprisingly, one name – a Brazilian a global icon – sticks out above the rest.
“On four wheels, we really had great champions. You know, Senna, I think was one of the best drivers in the world for me, and I really have him like an inspiration. And I already saw that all the movies and books and everything from him. And… I don't know, I think the karts, the go karts from the beginning, had a lot of support in Brazil when we still have a lot of championships with go karts in Brazil, a lot of karting and tracks that the drivers can race,” says Granado.
“And we have support for four wheels in Brazil, we have a very good national championship there with the GT cars, with the V8 cars, so a lot of sponsors. And on the other side and the motorbike racing, there's no big support like the four wheels you know, but I think this is in a transition. One thing that's I think really helped a lot to create championships and create sponsors is have a track that have raised there so Formula One is in Brazil, a lot of years.”
Granado is the only Brazilian rider in motorcycle World Championship racing, so the future stars in his home country only have him to look up to currently. So how does Granado feel about inspiring the next generation?
“You know, the main thing was to come to Spain to race because today in 2021 we still struggle to have riders from Brazil, even if we have a category there for children that Honda is doing but you know, it's very difficult. All the sponsors, all the money, goes to soccer. And it's difficult. You know, I'm the only one in the World Championship racing. And we have like one or two or three riders in Europe from Brazil racing. Yeah. And if you compared to the European riders, it’s nothing. So it’s not easy for us.
“Also coming from another country, another culture another language, everything is different. So it's so, so difficult for us. But, you know, I hope I can help riders from Brazil arrive. You know, I really like the job that Oliveira is doing. He's a big friend. And he's helping the Portuguese guys, even if Portugal is very close to Europe. But you know, it's similar to Brazil. We don't have support for riders and he's done a great job. So I talk a lot with him. I'm really working with my dad and some people in Brazil have in the next years a category for children there.”
That’s just a little snippet of the in-depth chat with Granado that hosts Matt Dunn and Fran Wyld have with 25-year-old. Head over to your favoured Podcast platform or YouTube to listen/watch in full!