Garzo on top in FP1, MotoE™ Talk Show kicks off the finale

2019-11-15 02:42
The FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup gets back on track this weekend at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana and on Thursday it was Talk Show time for points leader Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE), challenger Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing), One Energy Racing's Bradley Smith, Spanish legend Sete Gibernau (Join Contract Pons 40) and Maria Herrera (Openbank Angel Nieto Team) - just before they got out for their first practice session of the weekend.

Ferrari spoke first, and despite a 19-point lead he's aiming to concentrate on the race and not the Cup overall. "I'm happy to be here, to be first at the final round. I don't want to make too many calculations about the first race because I have an advantage but only 19 points over Hector. During the first four rounds, we've seen three different riders win, so I have to do my best during the first race and then we'll see in the second.

"I have to study all the information from the test, we improved every day here at Valencia and every weekend is special and different, so we have to study everyone. Mike has also been fast, and we have a new rider - Lucas Mahias - so we'll have to see!"

Next up was Garzo, who is the man second overall and on true home turf in Valencia. How's he feeling? "It's obvious we have a lot of work this weekend, two races, and 19 points. We'll try our best but I won't think about it during the races, I'll try to do my best and work hard. Here there are a lot of riders who have a good rhythm, and riders are fast here at Valencia - Granado will be there and also Smith, he's always been fast here. We'll do our best and try not to think about the Cup.

"We'll see during the weekend, since the first test we've really worked a lot on the bikes and everyone has a lot of experience now with the MotoE bike so maybe it won't be like in the first test. Maybe a lot of riders will be at the front and what about someone we've not seen yet like Mahias - we'll see during the weekend but I don't have expectations, I'll just try my best and fight for victory."

Smith was the third man on the mic, another who needs to attack to take the crown... "You can't have that much control, at Misano I had two incidents outside my control; in Race 1 the incident with Niki then in Race 2 the problem I had. We can't overthink it, it's still motorsport and unknown. You just turn up, do the best you can and we'll see who walks away with the Cup on Sunday.

"The season has been exciting, I said before the season started we wouldn't know what riding style would work with these bikes because it's a different style of racing, different technology and it's going into the unknown. Even though we've seen big rider names from MotoGP we've seen them at all areas of the grid, some step in at the front and some at the back. This Cup is different to anything we've seen and the first year is always exciting - who gels with what at the right time, and how close it is. It's been extremely close in laptimes, E-Pole has created competition as well that's been exciting, that one lap means you start in different places on the grid so the start is different, you lose some time or gain some. I think it's been great this year."

Then it was time for the first Talk Show appearance for a legend: Sete Gibernau. The Spaniard was philosophical and looking forward to his first weekend on home turf. "I never thought I was going to do this anymore, ride again and be on a grid with professional riders, I accepted this as an awesome challenge for me, and with everything that's happening in the championship I'm lucky to be able to come to each race and just race. It's not my whole life anymore and I take it as a great gift. I just jump on the bike and being here is a great present.

"I thought I'd be able to train a little bit but I've been approaching each race straight from home and it's hard, you understand what you need to do to do what these guys do. I've been very lucky to ride with them, I've enjoyed the racing here and now I have the chance to ride again at a track I won at before. I won here in 2001 on a two-stroke when some of these guys weren't even born! But it's nice, just being here for me is a great present, I'm happy being here, enjoying it and looking forward to the last couple of races."

Finally, another new face at the Talk Show: Maria Herrera, who's made some big steps forward. "I'm happy with our performance because I feel more comfortable than in the first race and the test at Jerez for example. when I moved the levers closer to me it was much better for my style and that's the progress.

"It's a big challenge for me, the bike is heavy for my size and weight, the grip in the wet for me isn't great, but I understand how to race the bike, I'm enjoying it and in both races at Misano I understood when to open the throttle, and the team are working really well. I'm so happy with our performance."

That's it for quotes, tune in for E-Pole at 16:05 (GMT +1) on Friday...and then it's time to go racing, twice. Race 1 starts on Saturday at 16:15, before Race 2 on Sunday morning at 10:05. Who will take the Cup? It could be 11 different riders - you don't want to miss it.

Top photo L-R: Gibernau, Garzo, Ferrari, Smith and Herrera

Garzo top in FP1 as he aims to topple Ferrari on home turf

Hector Garzo (Tech 3 E-Racing) was quickest out the blocks in the season finale for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup at Valencia, the local hero a couple of tenths clear of key rivals Bradley Smith (One Energy Racing) and Matteo Ferrari (Trentino Gresini MotoE), the man currently on top in the standings. Eric Granado (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) in fourth was within three tenths too, with the final two races of the season shaping up nicely.

Niccolo Canepa (LCR E-Team), Xavier Simeon (Avintia Esponsorama Racing), Mike Di Meglio (EG 0,0 Marc VDS), Jesko Raffin (Dynavolt Intact GP), Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac MotoE) and Randy De Puniet (LCR E-Team) completed the top ten, with the latter having his best session of the season so far.

Compatriot Lucas Mahias, who replaces the injured Niki Tuuli at Ajo MotoE, impressed to start his MotoE™ adventure in P12 - just 1.5 seconds off the top. More track action comes on Friday with FP2 in the morning, before E-Pole from 16:05 (GMT +1).

Source: Dorna Sports

Click here to visit our forums to discuss this story