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Kevin Zannoni, a great growth in MotoE

Kevin Zannoni with the MotoE of the LCR E-Team

Kevin Zannoni, just turned 21 on September 8th, was one of the rookie riders of the MotoE World Cup 2021. After having been Italian champion in Moto3 for two times, Zannoni embarked on his adventure in the World Championship with Lucio Cecchinello's team in the MotoGP electric class.

After two national titles in Moto3, the natural evolution for Zannoni would have been the World Championship in the same category, but the call of a team did not come. Paolo Simoncelli, who knew Kevin from having given him a bike in 2019 to replace Niccolò Antonelli in the GP of Thailand, became the promoter for the young Italian rider with Lucio Cecchinello. The manager of the LCR team at that time had lost the two riders of the team in the electric class due to the clash between the calendar of the MotoE and that of the Endurance championship, in which both Xavier Simeon (reigning Endurance Champion) and Niccolò Canepa were involved. At that point, for Zannoni, the dream of racing in the World Championship became a reality, but with a completely new bike and totally different from the Moto3 he knew so well. Until then, Zannoni had only tested the small Thundervolt electric Pit-Bikes on the Galliano circuit in Forlì.

The first step was to change the athletic training; with a Moto3 of just over 80kg you need strength but you have to be light while the MotoE weighs 260kg, you need a lot more muscles. The second step was to choose the number, 21, because Zannoni's historic 111 could not be used in the World Championship. The third step was to fly to Jerez de la Frontera, to get to know Paolo Cordioli, Thomas and Luciano Betti and all the other team members for the first pre-season test of the MotoE World Cup.

What was your first impression when you rode the MotoE?
“It was really strange, I was used to a small bike like the Moto3 at the beginning it was, in quotes, a bit of a shock. The bike was very different, but I had a lot of fun riding it! I immediately heard the great acceleration that the electric motor has at the first touch of throttle, the noises of the slides on the ground, the wind and many other noises that were not noticed with traditional bikes”.

How did it go when you received the proposal to run in MotoE?
“It was a great emotion, at that time I was without a bike for this season after winning the Italian title in Moto3 and I was very down in spirits about it. When this opportunity popped up, I thought it was an opportunity to be seized quickly. I have to thank Lucio for the opportunity that was given to me”.

As you remembered, you come from two championships won in the Italian Moto3 Championship; what were the main differences in the riding style between the Moto3 and the MotoE?
“The very different thing for me was the weight of the bike: the Moto3 is much easier to enter into corners and allows a little more mistakes, while the MotoE requires much more force when entering corners and once you have taken a line it is very difficult to change it. In addition the MotoE is much more stable and the limit of the Michelin tires is really very high because the front has a lot of grip and you have to trust it, so it was difficult to understand at the beginning. Then the team told me from the very first tests the strengths and weaknesses of this bike, in order to achieve the best performance from it”.

In which riding phases did you find yourself most in difficulty and in which less?
“I found myself in difficulty when entering the corners and exiting the faster corners, where you had to learn to run it a bit with the throttle, which I had never done with the Moto3 given the very small size of the tires. In MotoE I felt at ease on the lines and on the trajectories because they are not so different from those in Moto3”.

Your performances during the year have improved a lot, especially in the last few races; what is your opinion of your first season in MotoE?
“It was a season that started with many difficulties, even if I expected it a bit given the big difference from the category I was doing before and the few kilometers available to learn the secrets of this bike. But race after race I improved a lot, until I was competitive at the end of the season, so I feel satisfied!
Let's say that even at the beginning of the season, race by race, there were always some small steps, even if it was a really complicated start, but the last three races were the ones where I really improved a lot. In each race I tried to study all the most experienced riders in this category to understand how to best ride this bike and I worked hard at home both physically, mentally and on the bike to change my riding style. My second seasonal commitment in the CIV600 (Italian Speed ​​Championship) also helped me a lot.
I would really love to continue next season in MotoE and I hope to have the opportunity now that I feel competitive and ready to do well here too. In my opinion it is a very interesting category for a young rider, because you can learn many things and because you can know many tracks of the World Championship!"

MotoE World Cup 2021
The final standings

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