MotoE heads towards first full race simulation
Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) may have missed Day 1 of the official FIM Enel MotoE World Cup test in Valencia but the Brit made his presence felt on his return as he topped the timesheets with a 1m40.290 on Tuesday – just under a tenth faster than Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing).
To put that 1m40.290 time into perspective for the fledgling new MotoE category, the MotoGP fastest lap record at Valencia is 1m29.401, the Moto2 record is 1m34.879, and the Moto3 tiddlers becnhmark is 1m38.428.
Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama) completed the top three on the combined timesheets, but it’s Garzo who will start from pole in Wednesday’s race simulation.
On Day 2 there were three sessions: one practice in the morning, one in the afternoon and an E-Pole qualifying session simulation in which riders do one fast lap each. That was held around mid-way through the action and Garzo took the honour of the first, simulated E-Pole, although Granado was close as he ended the session just 0.025 in arrears. That session alone decides the starting grid for the race, and it’s Niki Tuuli (Ajo MotoE) who will complete the front row.
Smith, although fastest overall, was fourth quickest in qualifying, ahead of Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama) and Nico Terol (Openbank Angel Nieto Team), but the Brit won’t be present for the race. Nevertheless, after a first ever run through of a race start on Tuesday – each taking grid positions and then blasting away to test the procedure – Wednesday’s simulation should be a thriller.
Overall, the last session was the one that decided the majority of the top ten on the combined timesheets. Both Smith and Garzo set their best efforts in that session, with Granado the only man in the top five who didn’t. The Brazilian’s fastest lap was his E-Pole lap, putting him ahead of late improvers Mattia Casadei (Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse) and consistent frontrunner Tuuli. The three were covered by just 0.065.
Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was sixth fastest overall with his time from the morning, ahead of Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE) and Maria Herrera (Openbank Angel Nieto Team), who both set their best efforts in the afternoon.
“Today we practiced the race start and also the pole system and I am happy with how the day went. This morning, after the practice start, I stayed out and didn’t come in to change tyres – just focused on setting my race pace, which I managed to improve by a second. I am riding well, understanding the bike more and more, and we are improving the set-up. I wasn’t quite as comfortable as normal in the fight for pole but I am still happy with the lap time we set.”
Simeon was ninth overall from his E-Pole lap, with Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) completing the top ten just 0.003 off the Belgian rider’s laptime.
Alex De Angelis
“It was a peculiar day for us, first with the technical problem in the morning session and then with the vibrations at the rear that didn’t allow me to do my best in qualifying. We will analyze the data to be ready for tomorrow’s simulation that will be important to limit the distance from the group in front.”
The gaps were tiny from ninth to 13th: Terol was 0.018 off De Angelis, Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team) was next up and only 0.004 down, with Randy De Puniet (LCR E-Team) in P13 only 0.007 off his teammate.
De Puniet, who crashed on Day 1, also went down on Tuesday. Josh Hook (Octo Pramac MotoE) missed Tuesday’s action due to gastro and also crashed on Monday.
There remains another day of testing for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup on Wednesday, including the race simulation, so stay tuned for more.