Mauro Sanchini is currently the Sky Sport commentator for MotoGP together with Guido Meda. After the twists and turns of the final round of the MotoE World Cup in Misano, we asked his opinion on the third edition of the MotoGP electric class.
And so in the end ... to a person who has passionately loved motors for all his life, does he like electric motorcycles or not? The answer of Mauro Sanchini, 51 years old, from the Marche region, close to Romagna, a former winning rider, an unquestionable lover of two wheels, is one of those that make him "the Italians' favourite commentator": straightforward, direct, competent, as a motorcyclist. Therefore, if on the one hand, "Sankio" makes it clear that the bike must be as light as possible ("MotoGP bikes are already too heavy for me"), on the other hand, he quickly reaches an enthusiastic conclusion without prejudice: "in the end, I think the fun of seeing one more race prevails! And the races of MotoE are fun; they have their particular charm, with that whistling sound of the bikes that sound like jets and the rear tyre that skids and slides, making great smokes when accelerating. It's not like they're going slowly, the speed is at least 250km/h, they don't go for a walk". Full stop. No polemics, no purism, but skill and enthusiasm. The same elements that Mauro Sanchini puts into his commentaries: today he does them from the Sky "truck" alongside Guido Meda, as a child, he did them himself, in his helmet, self-commenting on his adventures with friends on a motorbike. And today, as then, he tends to empathize: “once - he laughed - a rider made a highside, and I fell off the armchair.”
The third season of the MotoE ended with the double race on the Misano track, where the twists were indeed not lacking. Let's start from the last one, the clash on the last lap between the two riders fighting for the title: Dominique Aegerter and Jordi Torres.
“The Grand Prix at Misano was, on the one hand, a lot of fun; we saw two good races even if, on the other hand, it was unpleasant when Zaccone got injured on Saturday, and we lost a contender for the title. However, let's face immediately the decisive episode for the World Championship, the clash between Aegerter and Torres. I honestly have the same idea that I expressed live on Sunday.
Torres made the most serious mistake, and I don't know; I didn't speak with him later, but he made a huge mistake. And I think he realized it too afterwards; I think his crying was also for that. Why take such a risk? Why fight for a title by tackling the last corners of the last lap with such hard overtaking when Torres would have been champion even if he finished second behind Aegerter. To risk so much with someone who is not close in the league is absurd. Aegerter had eight points less than Torres, even if he came first and Torres second, Aegerter would not have won the World Championship”.
“Then, in this case, the impact between the two was evident, and it was right to penalize it, but if there had been a less evident contact and Torres had ended equally on the ground, Aegerter would have won the World Championship. So I don't really understand what sense it made for Torres to fight so hard with Aegerter that he had nothing to lose.
Among other things, Aegerter was getting more and more aggressive with the passing of the laps; he was self-powered. The first overtakings were fair, then overtaking after overtaking, he charged more and more and was more determined. The last one was completely oversized, but the one before at the Tramonto curve, he had already made a complete mistake, had gone very wide and then had recovered in the Curvone. But it was evident that he was increasingly oversized. Honestly, such overtaking at the last corner couldn't be done for any reason in the world, that is, he couldn't stay in it, it was just a block-pass motocross-style entrance”.
MotoE World Cup 2021
The final standings
"I don't know if Aegerter made that manoeuvre to win the title or just to win the race, I don't know this, and I don't even want to judge it, because from the outside it's easy to take a position, it's a process of tensions that I don't like. Do. Indeed the manoeuvre, in my opinion, was completely out of place and out of proportion, and it has Torres' fall, so it was right to sanction it. But, I repeat, Torres made a mistake to get to that point by fighting until the last corner with Aegerter.
The Swiss then had a devil for hair because he had lost the World Championship in Saturday's race due to Granado.
Saturday, Granado made a completely oversized attack in the last corner and made Aegerter lose the first position. It seems like minor stuff, but Torres from third became first, and Aegerter from first was second. Without that manoeuvre, Torres would not have started with that advantage on Sunday. How Granado could have thought he could make that curve there like that, I don't know. With the MotoE, he would never have been there, but he wasn't even in the MotoGP; even if they gave him a Moto3 that is light, the end would have been the same".
In the Saturday race, on the other hand, Zaccone crashed.
“The fall of Zaccone was really a great shame. It was a shame first of all because the title could have returned in Italy, and I am happy when the Italians win, when the Italian bikes win and when Italy does well. The fact that the MotoE title could return to Italy after Matteo Ferrari would have been wonderful. And then it was a great shame also because Zaccone fully deserved it.
He was very strong at the start of the championship and maybe a little less in other races. But, in my opinion, Zaccone, that is, he is not skinny, he is not small, he may have paid a little for the weight. But above all, he has gone to fight with riders of great experience in the championship, and when you go on tracks you little know and have little time to ride and tune the bike, you are at a disadvantage”.
“We remember that in MotoE, there are few laps in the free sessions; it is not like in the other classes. Riders like Torres and Aegerter have done many years in the World Championship, so this has paid off a bit, even if he has always done very well in the Sunday races. This is a symptom of wonderful growth and of a season done at a high level.
It was really a shame what happened on Saturday. Zaccone did not make a good start, at the first corner, he found himself in the pack of other riders, he managed to pass them and then at turn 3, he immediately twisted the throttle to recover on the first ones, but he was too reckless, and the bike had a high- side and fell. Too bad because it cost him the World Championship, he could have won it, but with the risk he ran, we need to be happy like this”.
Let's move on to analyze the Championship, what do you think is the good and the bad about MotoE?
“Said straightforwardly, to speak for better or for worse about the new that is growing, after the last few races I thought that the Championship is very exciting and balanced, it has grown in quality and I have also seen some great steps forward on safety.
I remember very well when there was the debut of the MotoE when the biggest fear was this famous red light of the battery to indicate the danger of electric shock, with the bike lying down and the stewards who could not take the bike away.
And then the famous fire in Jerez, after which it seemed that the bikes should catch fire very often. When a MotoE fell, it seemed as if you had to put your hands in your hair and hope that everything would not explode. Here, this was a bit of the perception that we had initially, while then in the three seasons that have raced, everything went smoothly.
The marshalls have become familiar with the bikes, and how to recover them, it has been seen that the protections are adequate. I have seen these motorcycles take big blows and always remain with the green light to indicate that electrically everything was fine with the marshalls who took them away immediately. In short, there was not that huge problem, as one might have thought at the beginning; I think this is a very positive aspect".
“Instead, the negative of this category remains the weight of the bike. I understand that it is not easy, in the sense that we should still wait for the development of the batteries, but of the bikes that compete, wow, they are so heavy.
When I saw Zaccone fall and go high-side forward…. You already know from experience that when you fall forward like this, you stay along the trajectory, and if your bike doesn't hit you, there are others behind that pass where you are on the ground. So I swear to you that in those moments there when I saw him that he was hitting the asphalt, that he began to slip with the half of the group behind that still had to pass, my heart tightened.
Those heavy bikes, as they are, always leave you in terror that if they catch you, they will hurt you so much. And he was very lucky: he lost the World Championship, but in my opinion, it is as if he had won two races in one. Unfortunately, many times both in the case of a slip, even a trivial one, when you stay under the bike or in a more serious accident, you get a bit of terror”.
MotoE World Cup 2021
The performances and the technical data of the MotoE
“On that side of safety, you have to make sure you start to get off the pounds as soon as possible because there are too many. I understand that the reasons are technologically related to the battery; it is not that they have chosen to make a cast-iron frame, and therefore it is heavy. I'm not pointing the finger at anyone, much less who builds this beautiful bike; it's just a call to attention; I know very well that they are doing everything possible to increase safety in this area as well. Even just 10kg less on a rider's head is important.
Also, rightly, the MotoE is becoming, which is very nice, more and more competitive. The first year had started, let's say, with nostalgics, maybe even interesting to see again, like Gibernau or De Puniet, riders who were having fun, but the competitiveness was not at best. Now, however, it has become a category where more and more young people arrive, so much so that this year we even have someone like Aldeguer who has an age that cannot even ride the bike on the street”.
“Today, we find ourselves having younger and younger riders, and this means that MotoE is also becoming a launch category to enter the World Championship. In mid-season, Aldeguer already knew that in 2022he would move to Moto2 and Zaccone would do the same. It is good that a category can act as a springboard, but when more and more young people arrive with the desire to win and to show off, you understand that the risk goes to the extreme.
When a rider does a manoeuvre like Aegerter's on Torres, he does it because he wants to do his best. Among other things, Aegerter also skipped the Supersport race in which he is the leader in the standings, to come to Misano to win the MotoE title.
However, to close the security topic, I only want to say one thing. Ok, we started with a commercial bike; okay, there is, that's right. But all things must improve, grow, develop, it also applies to the MotoGP. So when you get to be a World Championship, when it becomes a springboard and when one prefers not to race in Supersport but come and do this race here, well, you must have a Grand Prix bike that is light".
MotoE World Cup 2021
Mauro Sanchini: my opinion on MotoE 2021 - part 2
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.