Pons Racing 40’s Mattia Casadei has created a little bit of history in qualifying for Round 2 of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup at the SHARK Grand Prix de France. In just the second running of the Q1-Q2 format for MotoE™, he became the first rider to go through both sessions on the way to a pole position in the electric class.
Casadei goes the long way on an up-and-down day
Casadei was fastest in FP1 at Le Mans but failed to set a lap time at all in FP2 due to a mid-session crash at Turn 1. Fortunately, the Italian was okay, but he was nearly bitten by that corner again with a big moment in the latter stages of Q1. By then, however, he had set a 1:44.055 which would prove good enough to top that opening stanza of qualifying. Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE™) also progressed, and both had their Energica Ego Corsa motorcycles charged up by Enel X Way’s new Pump 60 Race Edition which has made the two-part format possible for the electric class.
Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) was an early pace-setter in Q2 before Casadei clocked a 1:43.559 to go top in the 10th and final minute before the chequered flag. His team-mate Jordi Torres and also Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) then looked like threats to snatch pole, but neither could do it.
So close for Aegerter
Torres may well have lost precious time in passing Zannoni on his final hot lap, when he checked in at the start/finish line with a 1:43.682 which left him fourth-fastest. That became fifth once Aegerter completed the lap he was on, and he could hardly have been closer to pole considering the time was a 1:43.560.
Having come up literally one thousandth of a second slower than Casadei, the Swiss rider will start from second position for this weekend’s two races, while Zannoni is on the front row for the first time in his MotoE™ career after going as quick as a 1:43.580. World Cup leader Eric Granado (LCR E-Team), who won both races a fortnight ago at Jerez, gets away from fourth on the grid, ahead of Torres and Okubo.
Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™) heads up the third row, with Niccolo Canepa (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team) and Xavi Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) alongside him. Xavi Fores (Octo Pramac MotoE™) rounds out the top 10, while Hector Garzo (Tech3 E-Racing) is set to start 12th.
The next time the MotoE™ field will be on track, it will be to decide the winner of the third race of the season. Find out who that is on Saturday from 16:25 (GMT +2).
MotoE™ Q2 Top 5:
1. Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) – 1:43.559
2. Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE) + 0.001
3. Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) + 0.021
4. Eric Granado (LCR E-Team) + 0.223
5. Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) + 0.303