Due to a problem at the start, the Brazilian rider of the One Energy Racing team was forced to start from the pit lane. In an attempt to recover, Granado crashed on the last lap and retired. What happened raises the question of the suitability of such a penalty in MotoE sprint races.
Eric Granado and ONE Energy Racing ended the Catalan Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Sunday empty handed. The Brazilian rider suffered bad luck on raceday, having to start from pitlane after experiencing technical problems on the starting grid. His efforts to regain positions did not bear fruit, and he crashed out on the last lap of the race.
Granado had earned the pole for the third consecutive race, but shortly before the start, he realized that his bike was not ready for the start. Therefore, the stewards delayed the start of the race and ordered Granado to move to the pit lane. This is the standard procedure in case of a problem by a rider on the starting grid. Unfortunately, when applied to sprint races, as in MotoE, such a rule condemns the rider to finish among the last in the race. Starting from the pit lane in a race of more than twenty laps allows you to recover the group and still get a good result, potentially even winning, as Acosta did in the Moto3 race in Qatar. However, the same rule applied to a six-lap race like that of Barcelona is the condemnation to finish last in the race. Regardless of the cause of Granado's issue, the characteristics of the MotoE World Cup would require rethinking this rule and finding a formula more suited to the MotoGP electric class to not apply an excessive penalty to a rider and his team.
MotoE World Cup 2021
The report of the CatalanGP of the MotoE World Cup
“The bike didn't start; I tried to press the buttons as usual but it was still off. For safety reasons, I raised my hand and turned off the main switch of the bike. When I turned it on again and pressed the buttons, the bike started up -but the stewards came over to tell me that I had to get off the track. It was a shame. I started from pitlane and tried to do my best, with a good pace to try to regain positions. I rode some quite fast laps and on the last lap I tried to move up into ninth, but unfortunately I had a crash. I need to know what happened to the buttons so it doesn't happen again. I'm looking forward to the next race. We are fast and riding well, but we just need to put everything together and have a normal weekend."
Johan Stigefelt (Team Director)
“It was a very bad opening, because we couldn't take the start from starting grid position. We had been strong all weekend and Eric was on pole again. We have to check why this has happened to us and ensure that it doesn't happen again. I'm disappointed, because it was not the way we had planned to finish this race. It was a mistake, but we must put it behind us and continue to progress, because we are very fast."
MotoE World Cup 2021
The gallery of the Catalan GP of the MotoE 2021
To be updated on MotoE World Cup, subscribe to Epaddock's Whatsapp broadcast and receive all our news on your mobile phone in real time: find out how here.