At the age of twenty-two, Matteo Ferrari became the first historic winner of the MotoE World Cup, the electric class of MotoGP. Ferrari won the two races in Italy in his debut year at Misano, completing all the races on the calendar without ever making mistakes. In the second edition of the MotoE, the rider from Rimini won twice more in the home Grand Prix but finished the championship in second place, behind the Spaniard Jordi Torres.
The third season of the Rimini rider was different from the previous ones. The 2021 news for the bike and the new tires required intense adaptation work, which cost Ferrari points in the season's first races. However, the work carried out during the year was not in vain. Matteo Ferrari led the Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE team to victory in the MotoE World Cup for the first time on their home track in Misano. The results of the last part of the season allowed Ferrari to conquer the final podium in the MotoGP electric class for the third consecutive year.
We asked him to tell us how this third season in MotoE was and what awaits him in the future.
Let's start from the end: how did the last two races at Misano go?
“This season was a bit unlucky because, from Le Mans onwards, the feeling with the bike was good, I felt fast, but there were episodes during the races that didn't allow me to reach the podium, which was my first goal. We always came home with a bad taste in our mouth because we did a great job all weekend, qualifying was all in all good, but in the race, we couldn't get the result we could achieve. So, until the San Marino GP, I was not satisfied with the results obtained in the race. Preparing for the home race, I told myself that we had to get the podium here; in the past few years, I had always won except once; it would have been great to be back on the podium in Misano."
“Also, in this case, as in all the weekends of the season, on Friday, I started far from the top riders. Compared to previous years, I always took some time to pick up the pace; I was never among the fastest in the first round, but then I recovered, and I was ready for the race.
Race 1 was the replica of the other races of the season when due to a contact or a series of overtaking with other riders, I found myself losing contact with the leaders and then, with a few laps available, there was no time to recover. The battle between Pons and me was good, but it made me waste time compared to the top. In the end, I recovered a bit, but it was windy, and the slipstream had an impact on that race. In any case, I was happy with fourth place; I liked the race, I made some good overtakes."
MotoE World Cup 2021
The final standings
“The conditions for Sunday's Race 2 were good, and I watched a lot of Race 1 to see where I could improve further. I was mainly concerned about the start because some riders were very aggressive in the first corner on Saturday, penalizing both Zaccone and me; I wanted to understand how to manage the start of Race 2 well. It was very useful because on Sunday I went faster, I even lapped better than the year before.
In Race 2, my minimum goal was to improve my fourth place in Race 1 and get on the podium; then, in front between Aegerter and Torres, what we know happened, and the victory came to me, but in any way case I had achieved my goal anyway.
And then, another thing that I liked a lot was that we finally managed to do eight laps. So we started to see some race strategy, tire decay and so on, it was nice."
How did you see the contact between Aegerter and Torres?
“On the race contact between Aegerter and Torres, I tell you the truth, I did not understand Torres' choice. When it happened to me in Valencia in 2019, I concentrated on bringing home the result I needed to win the World Championship. It is always nice to win a race, but if you are playing for the World Championship, that must be your priority. Seeing Aegerter's attacks, if I had been in Torres, I would not have run my race like this. In my opinion, the anger and despair at the end of the race were also because he knew he had made a mistake.
I think it was right to sanction Aegerter because, in the end, there was a contact between them, but the line between penalization or not was very thin. A slightly less evident contact and Torres would have lost the championship. It went well for him again this year. In these two years, Torres has been very fast, but he also had a bit of luck on his side, which is always needed to win a world title. Next year I want to be faster and take away some luck from him; that's it."
In our recent interview, Mauro Sanchini, Sky commentator for MotoGP and MotoE, explained that from this year in MotoE he saw different lines and trajectories compared to the first year when there was only one possible line to go fast. Do you agree and if so what is it due to?
“The bike itself hasn't changed, or at least not that much. In my opinion, it was the riders' approach that became much more aggressive. In the first two years, everyone was pushing, but everyone was a little careful about the weight of these bikes. This year I saw a lot, a lot of aggressive style from all the riders. Many Endurance riders, who have a lot of racing experience, have left, and young riders have arrived. The mentality of the category has really changed.
Especially in the first races, it was not necessary to be the fastest, but it was necessary to braking hard and defend the position well; Le Mans was the clearest case. Aggressive style and the continuous overtaking and counter-overtaking have raised the pace of the race, and therefore by turning slower, there was also a way to make different trajectories from the ideal one. If we look at the times, this year we have not shot stronger than in previous years.
For now, everything has remained within limits, but we must not go further to reach the points that have reached other categories. The MotoE is very heavy, and in the event of an accident, it is dangerous. So even if we will have a slightly lighter bike next year, we will not go down to the level of a MotoGP."
So we will see you in MotoE also in 2022?
“I will definitely do MotoE again because I like it, and it will be very nice to do fourteen races. It will probably be seven rounds, they are still deciding that, but we will indeed be a World Championship with fourteen races. If I could choose, I would do some double races and some single races, let's see what they decide. On a few races like this, there is no way to recover from an error or if a race goes badly. With more races, the championship becomes much better. In recent years I was influenced by the idea of not making mistakes because then there were no races to recover, so maybe I was risking a little less to take home some points.
In addition to the fourteen races, there will also be other innovations such as the MotoGP-style qualifying, with Q1 and Q2. This novelty has pros and cons. On the one hand, I like it because we can do more laps, on the other hand, I don't like it if we also take the defects of this formula as the riders who expect to take the reference or the slipstream and the penalties for slowing too much."
What do you know about the bike that Energica will provide in 2022?
“I've never seen the new bike, but I know that Energica is working on it. It will have a few kg less, and there will be more adjustments for the bike's balance. This is good because by having more races, we will be able to work more with the team to find the best balance for the bike. The tests will also assess how far the race distance can be further extended, perhaps to get close to ten laps.
A race distance like this would be perfect because strategies could be taken into account, as well as tires wear and so on. Already in Race 2 at Misano, when we did eight laps, there was already a way to set up the race in a different way; I lost time in some overtaking, but then there was a way to recover the gap from the leaders, that's important. Apart from Assen and Misano, we have never done a complete race for one reason or another this year."
Probably the turning point of the MotoE World Cup it will be 2023, what can you already tell us?
"From what we know, Energica still has a contract year for the whole of 2022, but from the following year, they will leave. This was already in the air when there was a one-year renewal only because the original contract expired in 2021. All Dorna's contracts are for three years; a one-year renewal seemed immediately strange. Which bike or bikes will be for 2023; however, it is not yet known.
And then, in 2023, there will almost certainly be some races outside of Europe. This year is still early because the tracks that could host the MotoE (Austin and Indonesia) are at the beginning of the year, while we should still do the tests. But from 2023, it will happen. Even the boxes will be redesigned to be more easily transported from one part of the world to another. Let's see, a lot of good news will come."
Phase two of the MotoE World Cup
In addition to the commitment to MotoE, Matteo Ferrari is also the official Ducati Superbike tester and testimonial in numerous events related to two wheels and eco-sustainable mobility. On 26 September, he was a guest of the Go Smart Go Green event (www.gosmartgogreen.com) which was held in Treviso, the first event of a national tour on electric mobility that will take place in various Italian cities in 2022. The next event that will sell Ferrari's participation will be Key Energy (www.keyenergy.it), within Ecomondo, the Green Technology Expo in Rimini, from 26 to 29 October.
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