Let's revisit the three years of the adventure in the MotoE World Cup of Mattia Casadei and Sic58 Squadra Corse. In 2022 their paths will separate, as Paolo Simoncelli explains.
The most suitable words to describe it are those of the team owner, Paolo Simoncelli: “Unexpectedly, our pupil has been Mattia Casadei, who behaved as a good rider, unluckily covid made him unfit for one GP, losing some important points that were essential to stay in the top positions of the championship. Anyway I'm so happy for him, for how much he has changed, for how far he has arrived. With us since 2013, we've been for him like a trampoline as we will see him next year riding with Pons racing, the team that won the MotoE championship this year."
In Simoncelli's words there is the whole path of Casadei: 2013, in which he was the first rider to join the Sic58 team, 2019 when he debuted in the first edition of the MotoE World Cup, until 2021, the final year before moving on to another team to aim again for the MotoE title and the move to the Moto2 World Championship.
Casadei's first year in MotoE was very demanding; the category was new for everyone, true, but Casadei, 19 years old, was the youngest of the grid while among his rivals there were former world champions like Mike Di Meglio and Nico Terol, former MotoGP riders like Bradley Smith and Xavier Simeon, and Endurance World Champions such as Niccolò Canepa and Josh Hook. In the race Casadei did not go badly, the team and Marco Grana (the technical manager) were very close to him. The EPole, on the other hand, was almost a disaster. A formula, that of the EPole, to shake the wrists of far more experienced riders than Mattia. A flying lap in qualifying meant getting on the bike with only one chance, aiming for the limit without exceeding it. In that year Casadei had tenth place as his best result in qualifying, while in the race he conquered the podium, finishing third in the home GP at Misano.
In 2020, Casadei and the Sic58 Squadra Corse team made a huge step in performance. In qualifying Casadei obtained the second laptime on his home track in Misano as his best result, while in the race he won two podiums; he was third in Jerez and second in Misano. In 2020 the Italian rider reached the last round of the championship mathematically fighting to win the title, but a fall in qualifying compromised his chances of victory.
2021 should have been the definitive year to get on the podium step that Casadei still lacked, that of the winner. But then there are also the other riders in the race and things don't always go the way you want them to. The debut of the season in Jerez left some bitterness for a fourth place finish which, with a better qualifying, could have been the first podium of the season. The following race at Le Mans was conditioned by the weather, very changeable as usual on the French track. The qualifying was wet and with many crashes, including that of Casadei, who thus found himself in the last row of the starting grid. On Sunday everything seemed compromised; in MotoE you cannot make great comebacks due to the few laps in the race. Instead the Sic58 team rider redeemed the bad qualifying with a record comeback, the best of the whole MotoE. Casadei took second place by recovering thirteen positions in seven laps, leaving Le Mans with second place in the overall standings.
The next race, in Barcelona, was a misstep, with Casadei crashing with two laps to go when he was fifth, while at Assen, two weeks later, Mattia took sixth place in the race and fifth in the overall standings. The prospects were good because the calendar at that point included one race in Austria and then two at Misano, Mattia's favorite track. Leaving Austria with a limited gap in the standings would have given Casadei a good chance of fighting for the title on his home track in the San Marino GP.
And instead…. the Thursday before the Austrian round Casadei tested positive at Covid. In his place in Austria Stefano Valtulini raced and for Casadei he was zero in the standings and loss of hopes of winning the title of the category.
The last round of the season took place in Misano with Casadei and the Sic58 team called for redemption on their home track. The results were very good: in both races Casadei finished on the podium, once third and once second.
With one fall and one race less, Casadei and the Sic58 team finished the MotoE 2021 in sixth place with a gap of 21 points from the winner, Jordi Torres.
Torres will be Casadei's teammate in the MotoE 2022. The paths of Mattia and the Sic58 Squadra Corse in 2022 will be different, with the Italian rider who will again race in MotoE but with the Pons Racing team, the two-time world champion team in MotoE. Casadei will aim to fill the gap that still separates him from his first win in MotoE and maybe to win the title. Furthermore, the Pons Racing team is also present in Moto2, a target Casadei always dreamed of.
Sic58 Squadra Corse will also continue its adventure in MotoE, focusing on a new rider to be announced shortly.
MotoE World Cup 2021
The final standings
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