MotoE™ starts new era with emphatic lap record from Granado
It was a successful three days at Jerez for the electric field as Ducati begin their new adventure in style – with some seriously tight timesheets in the top ten
Wednesday, 08 March 2023
Lights out for the first ever FIM Enel MotoE™ World Championship is getting ever closer, and the first track action for the class of 2023 has now concluded at the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto. From Monday to Wednesday, the grid had four 15-minute sessions of track action each day as the new era begins, giving them time to get familiar with their new machinery and prep for the biggest season yet! So who was fastest and what did we learn?
DAY BY DAY
Monday saw the field greeted by rain, and there were a couple of riders missing as they travelled back from the recent WorldSBK round in Indonesia, including expected contender Eric Granado (LCR E-Team). The first rider out was Kevin Zannoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) but not by much, with everyone eager for their first taste of the new Ducati. By the second session the weather was improving before more rain at the end of play.
Tuesday began with some rain and cloudy skies, but the weather finally started to improve and the slicks came out to play. The 1:54 barrier was first bested by Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) on Tuesday morning, before the Italian was joined there by compatriot – and rookie – Luca Salvadori (Prettl Pramac MotoE), as well as two-time Cup winner Jordi Torres (Openbank Aspar Team).
By the last session of the day, it was lap record time as the weather was finally dry enough to let the riders really push. Granado set the quickest lap of the test, and there were ten riders under the 1:48 barrier by the end of the day: Granado, Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™), Nicolas Spinelli (Pons Racing 40), Casadei, rookie Randy Krummenacher (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™), Hikari Okubo (Tech 3 E-Racing), Torres, Kevin Manfredi (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse), Hector Garzo (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) and Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team).
Wednesday saw the rain return for the first session, and the second was given over to long runs. By the third session of the day, it was improving once again and the field headed out in earnest as the sun came out. The final session was good for slicks too, with a few damper patches but the riders able to use the full 15 minutes for a little more information gathering.
Still, no one beat Granado’s new lap record from Tuesday – and the field won’t be returning to Jerez to race this season, so that will stand for some time!
THE COMBINED TIMESHEETS
The combined timesheets are pretty much just Tuesday’s running, and Granado leads the way with some time in hand as his new record of a 1:47.053 sits top of the pile. Second overall it’s 2019 Cup winner Ferrari, with rookie Spinelli impressing in third and taking the honour of top rookie.
From Spinelli’s third place down to Garzo in ninth, no gap is bigger than a tenth. Casadei is 0.026 down on Spinelli, Krummenacher 0.020 off Casadei, Okubo 0.002 off Krummenacher, Torres 0.022 off Okubo, Manfredi 0.090 off Torres and Garzo 0.057 off Manfredi. Pons, in P10, is 0.115 further back, just ahead of Tito Rabat (Prettl Pramac MotoE).
As new eras go, that’s pretty close – and there is still another three-day test for the field to learn more. They’ll be hoping for better weather for that at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, so tune in for more from the 3rd to the 5th of April!
Check out the Tuesday combined times thanks to the Circuito de Jerez: here.
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