2019 MotoE World Cup
Round 1 – Sachsenring, Germany
Niki Tuuli has laid claim to the first ever FIM Enel MotoE World Cup race win, converting his E-Pole (also a first ever) into victory as the Cup kicked off in style in Germany alongside the MotoGP. A Red Flag on the penultimate lap brought the race to an early end with Bradley Smith taking second and Mike Di Meglio completing the podium.
It was Hector Garzo who took the holeshot from second on the grid, with Smith up to his old MotoGP class tricks to get a stunning launch from P7 and move into second, round the outside of polesitter Tuuli. Garzo then headed wide and Smith took over in the lead, with Tuuli also a little off line and that letting Di Meglio through into third. Xavier Simeon then picked the pocket of the Finn too, and the polesitter was down into fifth.
He soon set about hitting back, however, slicing through into fourth and then third as Di Meglio attacked Smith at the front, taking the lead. The trio were pulling away to make the fight for the podium a three-way affair, leaving Garzo battling Matteo Ferrari for fourth and Alex de Angelis defending from Simeon.
With six to go, Smith struck back for the lead and it wasn’t long until Tuuli moved through too, tagged onto the back wheel of the Brit and recovery from a tougher first couple of laps almost complete. A lap later he made a move but Smith took him back at the final corner, and the two blasted down the start-finish straight in tandem.
Tuuli set it up and attacked again into Turn 1, the Finnish rider back in charge and slowly but surely able to get just enough breathing space to stay out the clutches of Smith. Meanwhile, just behind, Garzo had managed to tag onto the battle for second. But drama then hit slightly further back as Eric Granado came together with Lorenzo Savadori and the Italian went down, and ultimately that would decide the race.
Savadori was up and ok, but the air fence took a hit from the bike and that meant the Red Flag came out, cutting the race short. With the standings based on the last lap over the line, that made Niki Tuuli the history-making first ever winner in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup.
Bradley Smith took second ahead of Di Meglio, with the Frenchman having only just attacked him for P2 but that now null and void. Garzo was forced to settle for fourth, with Ferrari completing the top five.
Alex De Angelis got the better of Xavier Simeon and took P6, with Eric Granado recovering from well outside the top ten after getting caught out in an early melee and the Brazilian taking P8. Sete Gibernau was ninth at the head of a big gaggle of riders squabbling over the final two places in the top ten, ahead of Nico Terol, Mattia Casadei, Niccolo Canepa, Jesko Raffin and Kenny Foray. Australian Josh Hook completed the points.
Niki Tuuli – P1
“I’m really happy, already after the first test we knew the bike was going to fit for me, but every time we’ve gone but we’ve been close to the top three and that’s the main thing, and especially here in the fast corners I’ve been really good and I think that’s where yesterday I made the laptime as well. On Friday and Saturday we had good speed and I know the places where I’m quite a lot faster at the moment. In the race because the weather is quite difficult we didn’t know where were the wet patches on track and we made the bike softer. Then straightaway when we started the race and I hit the brakes at Turn 1 I hit the bottom and knew it was too soft. After that I tried to keep the riding quite soft for the first two laps and after that I tried to push a bit and find out where it was working or not. I made a couple of mistakes when I was pushing too much, but in the end I made a small gap. We have many thing to improve and unfortunately today we had a really short race. But in the end we were first all weekend so it’s a good start to the year!”
Bradley Smith – P2
“I’m very happy to have got on the podium at this first MotoE World Cup race with ONE Energy Racing. Yesterday I was somewhat disappointed with my result in E-Pole, but I still knew that if I got a good start I could be in the fight in the race. I managed to get a very good start and lead the race, so that was nice. I couldn’t be a part of the race simulation in Valencia, so I was lacking some knowledge of what the contest was going to be like, but I learned a lot today. It was only five laps, but I know where I can improve for the next round in Austria. The race was exciting, so that’s good for the show and for the competition. I want to thank the team; they changed the bike from yesterday to today and did a great job.”
Hector Garzo – P4
“Unfortunately, it was a difficult race and not the result we have hoped for. I was waiting for the last two laps. Just the moment before the red flag, I was thinking about my overtake. But well, this is racing. You never know, that this is going to happen. Anyway, I’m happy because we four riders finished with a great time. For sure, I would have been a bit more satisfied to get a podium in the first MotoE race, but still our work is good and we know we are strong in every condition. Thanks a lot to the team, we did a really good job and for the first MotoE race of the history, it’s not bad. We must be happy. I’m looking forward to Austria now, keep calm and work hard.”
Alex De Angelis – P6
“I had a great time. At the first corner I chose to brake and stay inside and it was a good tactic because it allowed me to recover some positions. The duel with Simeon made me lose contact with the leading group but it was really exciting.”
Niccolò Canepa – P12
“I’m really upset because I had contact in the first lap – I was in 8th place and was put back to 14th place. I was coming back into the top 10 and was 10th when the red flag came out but they gave the results from the previous lap so I was actually 12th in the results. I feel frustrated because I think this time a 5-lap race is too short.”
Kenny Foray – P14
“It was a good race. The result is not, what I expected, but my feeling was better. Now, I need to be more aggressive in the race, because two times, I decided to stay behind the guys in front of me and two times, somebody overtook me. So, I need to push all the time. I was really good on the brakes, but I couldn’t take full advantage of this. My feeling on the bike was good, it was great fun. The result is not ideal, but now I need to improve for the next race. I was a good experience for me and I’m happy, although I was hoping for a few more points. I’m sure for Austria, we will be better.”
Josh Hook – P15
“The feeling with the bike grew during the race. It was very important to be with the peloton on a circuit where I raced on Friday for the first time. It wasn’t a particularly satisfying weekend but we have to take the positive side and improve.”
Randy De Puniet – P17
“It was not an easy race – since the beginning of the weekend, as I’ve explained before, I have zero feeling and I’m not confident after crashing in Valencia. I really hoped to get some more confidence and speed during the race, but it was not the case. I’m sorry to the team and the sponsors but I was not able to do better today. I hope after the break I will feel better on the bike so we will see for the next race.”
That’s it from the inaugural weekend for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup, with Tuuli the first ever winner and therefore first Championship leader. How will Austria shake it up? The Sachsenring is about corners, and the Red Bull Ring is much more stop-and-go. Tune in on the August 11 for Round 2!