Electric Power for Maria Herrera in Moto-E
Maria Herrera is the only woman on track in the MotoGP weekend, as she started her second season for team Aspar in the MotoE class, fighting other 17 riders in the 7 events of the electric series.
“I found a lot strange: the moment at the start of the race because, strangely, silence reigns. Until you start, you feel nothing but your heart. And then you start opening the gas and you start having fun with the bike."
These were Maria Herrara's feelings during the 2019 season. It was the inaugural campaign of the innovative all-electric motorcycles in a championship sanctioned by FIM.
But it wasn´t properly a good start: a fire in March 2019 destroyed all racing machineries and pit equipment during an incident while recharching the batteries. The first events were cancelled and just six races weere performed at the end of the opening season.
Matteo Ferrari was crowned first champion, while Maria Herrera finished the season 14th in the standings.
For season 2, the MotoE class, still following the MotoGP events, has 7 events with the following schedule: Jerez (2), Misano (3) and Le Mans (2). The series uses identical motorbikes by Energica and tyres by Michelin, while the power is enough for 6 laps at the moment. From the Misano round, the distance will be extended to 7 laps with a new charging system.
Maria Herrera is the only female participant in the 2020 MotoE season: she will start for the Angel Nieto Team and was the first woman to win a race in the Spanish Championship at the age of 16. She firstly drove in the Moto3 category in 2013 thanks to a wild card and was then a permanent Moto3 rider in 2015 to 2018. She is the 5th woman to score points in Moto3 after Taru Rinne, Tomoko Igata, Katja Poensgen and Ana Carrasco. Maria switched to the Supersport 300 World Championship and has been competing in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup since 2019.
“When I was told that the bike weighed 260 kilos, I got scared and thought, ‘how can I ride such a heavy bike?’ Instead, it was an amazing experience that we lived to the fullest, both riders and fans who had a lot of fun watching our races."
The previous round - how the season started
Pole starter Granado was overtaken in corner 1 by Lukas Tulovic, as Alex de Angelis had a jump start and had to go through the long lap penalty two times.
Granado fought back, passed Tulovic and pulled away fast. Behind him, Ferrari hunted down Tulovic and overtook him two laps to the chequered flag. But Tulovic quickly had Aegerter behind him: the Swiss dropped down to 7th place at the first lap, but he fought back to place 3 as caught up with Tulovic with 2 laps left into the race. On the last lap, Aegerter passed Tulovic and secured third place behind Ferrari.
Maria Herrera finished in P15 and scored 1 point at the first race.
“I started very well, I overtook three or four riders, but I felt that the rear was spinning a lot." - she said. "We need to know more about the bike and the changes they have made this season, because my riding style does not work with these changes, and we have to analyse how to improve the bike towards my style, to be able to fight again for the podium like the last year.”
This week's round
Dominique Aegerter took his maiden pole position in the series. He beated Ferrari and Lukas Tulovic, making it two rookies on the front row for the first race. Because of track limits, Herrera lost her best qualifying lap and started the race from 17th place. Tommaso Marcon was black flagged after he left the pitlane too late.
Aegerter defended his first place at the start, as Ferrari tried to pass him. With them in the fight it was also Alejandro Medina who started 6th. But then, drama began: Ferrari was too late on the brakes and crashed into Eric Granado, and was stranded in the gravel. Aegerter managed his lead to the end and won his first MotoE race ahead of Jordi Torres and Mattia Casadei.
Herrera, who started last on the grid, took home the 11th place by beating Kornfeil by less than a tenth of a second and scored some points for the championship.
In the championship rankings, Aegerter now leads ahead of Torres and Granado. The next race will be in Misano on 13th September.