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19 days ago
By motogp.com

Aegerter takes victory in a hectic Assen opener

Less than a tenth of a second covers the podium after eight astonishing laps around Assen

Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) has extended his FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup points lead by winning an all-time thriller in Race 1 at the Motul TT Assen. The Swiss rider nearly crashed at his first attempted pass on the final lap around the TT Circuit Assen but showed supreme bravery to set up a move on Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) as they ran into the Geert Timmer Chicane right at the end. It was Eric Granado (LCR E-Team) who pinched second place at the chequered flag, 0.072 seconds behind Aegerter and a mere 0.009 seconds ahead of Casadei after eight of the best laps which MotoE™ has ever seen.

Granado goes on an early charge

Aegerter had qualified on pole position but the battle for the lead was initially between Granado and Casadei, who went side-by-side into the first corner. However, both ran wide exiting Haarbocht and Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™) emerged in first position, ahead of Aegerter and Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team). Granado and Casadei slotted into fourth and fifth spots, but both were back ahead of Pons within a lap.

Granado took a liking to the fast Ramshoek (Turn 15) left-hander, overtaking Aegerter there on Lap 3 just when it looked like Ferrari might be starting to creep away, then passing the 2019 World Cup winner himself another lap later again. Ferrari reclaimed the lead from the Brazilian as they ran through the Ossebroeken section (Turn 3/Turn 4) on Lap 5, but Granado got back in front later that lap at Stekkenwal (Turn 8).

Aegerter joins the fight for victory

Meanwhile, a big battle had broken out for third between Aegerter, Casadei, and Pons, but the current World Cup leader had shaken those off when he launched an attack on Ferrari. He squeezed past the Gresini rider into the Geert Timmer Chicane on Lap 6, and Ferrari dropped towards the back of the leading pack when he had two big scares as he tried to take second position back at the start of Lap 7 with Casadei inheriting third position.

Aegerter then got underneath Granado at the tight Strubben left-hander (Turn 5), but that gave them a slow entry down the back straight and Casadei stormed by both of them on the run into the Ruskenhoek (Turn 6). Granado re-passed Aegerter for second position at De Bult (Turn 9) but the Intact rider snatched the spot back just a few corners later at the Timmer Chicane, making contact as he did so.

The World Cup leader throws caution to the wind

Despite being back in the runner-up position with a lap to go and a World Cup lead to protect, Aegerter was hardly in a mood to simply collect points. He dived past Casadei at De Strubben but could not make the move stick and very nearly got chucked off his Energica Ego Corsa when he opened up the throttle again. Still, the Swiss rider hung onto his handlebars, hung onto second place, and then hung on the outside of Casadei as they sped through Ramshoek for the eighth and final time, near the end of the lap.

He was able to pass the Pons Racing rider through the Timmer Chicane and win the drag race to the finish line. Second, however, went to Granado, who pipped Casadei by a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it margin, with Ferrari fourth and Hector Garzo (Tech3 E-Racing) getting home in fifth at just 0.960 seconds behind the winner. Marco Alcoba (Openbank Aspar Team) had been in the leading group on the last lap but crashed at high speed at the Ramshoek, with an x-ray clearing him of a fractured left elbow but another medical review coming on Sunday.

How the rest finished

Pons eventually finished sixth, ahead of Niccolo Canepa (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team), Bradley Smith (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team), Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), and Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta Sic58 Squadracorse). Also in the points, from 11th to 15th respectively, were Kevin Manfredi (Octo Pramac MotoE™), Xavi Fores (Octo Pramac MotoE™), Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE™), Alex Escrig (Tech3 E-Racing), and Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team).

In the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup standings, Aegerter has increased his margin to 34 points, with Granado second and Ferrari another eight points behind in third.

After an astonishing opening encounter, make sure you catch Race 2 on Sunday at 15:30 (GMT +2).

MotoE™ Race 1 Top 5:

1. Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE) – 1:36.736
2. Eric Granado (LCR E-Team) + 0.072
3. Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) + 0.081
4. Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE) + 0.507
5. Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) + 0.960

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