MotoGP Le Mans: MotoE race preview


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MotoGP


Picture: MotoGP


After a pitch perfect double to start the season, the ball is in the Brazilian’s court as the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup heads for France.

After two races there is only one winner so far in the 2022 FIM Enel MotoE World Cup: LCR E-Team’s Eric Granado. The Brazilian has more victories than anyone in the Cup and added two more to his count, now 17 points clear on the way into round two, as he was also the only rider to get on the podium on both Saturday and Sunday in Jerez. Now it’s time for the field to take on Le Mans, so can the number 51 keep the roll going?



The bad news for his rivals is that he’s already won there and is, in fact, the most recent winner at the track. It was a stunning final corner battle against then-rival Alessandro Zaccone too, with Granado getting his elbows out with the best to prove he’s got more in his arsenal than simply a disappearing act at the front. A 17-point lead does pose a conundrum in 2022, however: there’s a cushion to push for glory, but going over that limit is what’s seen his points total dented in MotoE before. So which will it be?



Either way, Dynavolt Intact GP’s Dominique Aegerter will be ready to fight it out as the Swiss rider is second overall with a P2 and a P4 from the Spanish GP, and with some good track knowledge at Le Mans as well as some previous bad luck in MotoE affecting his record there. LCR’s Miquel Pons is the next rider up in the standings and had the pace in both races at Jerez so could be a threat again, although he had a tougher time of it as a rookie at Le Mans.



Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) has also been quick out the blocks in 2022 – and he was in that fight for victory in the French round last season, ultimately taking second after the final corner shenanigans. He’s keen to push for wins this season as he settles in at his new team, and his pace in Jerez was certainly enough to back up those aspirations.



Pons teammate and reigning Cup winner Jordi Torres, meanwhile, is the other returning rider apart from Granado to have won in France. Can he use that to take a step forward? He wasn’t quite in that fight at the front in Spain and will want more from round two, as too will Felo Gresini’s Matteo Ferrari. The Italian was on the podium in race one after some solid pace and the Casadei/Pons drama shuffling the timesheets and the group on track, but Sunday saw the 2019 Cup winner not quite make that step to go with Granado, Pons and Casadei. Can he home in in France?



Hector Garzo needs a bigger bounce back from an unlucky Jerez after getting caught out through no fault of his own in race one and then sliding out in race two. He’s on home turf for the Tech3 team too, so will be pushing to make amends and take some serious points – with his pace in MotoE already more than proven.

Bradley Smith (WithU GRT RNF MotoE) remains a question mark after he was sidelined from the season opener through injury… will the Brit be back on track? He’s certainly heading to France to try and make his return.





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