The Brazilian was handed a crucial victory at the Red Bull Ring to close the gap on Egerter in the World Cup standings
Eric Granada (LCR E-Team) emerged victorious from a dramatic Race 1 of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup at the CryptoDATA Motorrad von Österreich Grand Prix as Mattia Casadei (Pons Racing 40) flew out of the lead on the final lap. In the end, the Brazilian beat main title rival Dominic Egerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) by 1.2s, with Mikel Pons (LCR E-Team) finishing third on the podium.
Granada win a dramatic encounter
It was a fast and dramatic start at the Red Bull Ring as Cassaday grabbed the Hellshot ahead of polesitter Granada and we saw Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE™) crash on the exit of Turn 1. Fortunately, neither Ferrari nor his bike the injured gathered at the side of the field and shortly afterwards at Turn 2B Bradley Smith (WithU GRT RNF MotoE™ Team) went down unharmed.
Cassaday kept his head down and extended his lead to 1.1s ahead of the chase as Granada passed Kevin Zanoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) for 2nd at Turn 2 on the 2nd lap. Cup leader Egerter then passed Zanoni for 3rd place at Turn 1. At the start of lap 4, the Swiss rider had 2.2 seconds left to overtake race leader Casadei, who was in turn being chased by Granada.
By the end of the fourth round, Granada had Casadei pinned. On the fifth lap, the Brazilian took one bite of the cherry that didn’t work on Casadei, and on the sixth lap, the second occurred at the first turn. But that didn’t work either and Granada was out of shape and wide, costing him time.
Heading into the final lap, Cassaday boasted a lead of 0.6s, which had increased to 0.8s by half a lap. It looked like it would be a comfortable route to victory for the Italian, but he went down at the penultimate turn. A mistake two turns from home saw the win slip away from Casadea, meaning Granada crossed the line as Race 1 winner by 1.2s over Egerter.
Hikari Okuba (Avant Ajo MotoE™) finished 4th in a tight battle for the top five. The Japanese star managed to fend off Hector Garzo (Tech3 E-Racing) by a couple of tenths, who in turn edged out team-mate Alex Eskrig by 0.030s, the latter finishing 6th ahead of Zanoni, who dismounted on the penultimate lap in Turn 3 – and current Cup winner Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40). Octo Pramac MotoE™ teammates Javi Fores and Kevin Manfredi round out the top 10.
The gap between Egerter and Granada closed to 26.5 points overall with three races to go. Race 2 will take place on Sunday at 15:30 local time (GMT+2).
1. Eric Granada (LCR E-Team)
2. Dominic Egerter (Dynavolt Intact GP MotoE™) + 1.271
3. Mikel Pons (LCR E-Team) + 1.797
4. Hikari Okuba (Avant Ajo MotoE™) + 3.369
5. Hector Garceau (Tech3 E-Racing) + 3.589
6. Alex Eskrig (Tech3 E-Racing) + 3.619
7. Kevin Zanoni (Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse) + 3.904
8. Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) + 4.634
9. Javi Fores (Octo Pramac MotoE™) + 11.745
10. Kevin Manfredi (Octo Pramac MotoE™) + 11.911