Maria Herrera continues her point-scoring streak in Moto E at TT Circuit Assen
Maria Herrera has so far finished all the 2021 Moto E rounds in the points, and her positive streak continued at Assen, despite being the most challenging race so far for the Spanish rider. Here's how her latest race played out.
Maria Herrera, 24 year old rider from Toledo, Spain, made her debut in the World Cup in 2013 in a one-off appearance in Moto3 for the Junior Team Estrella Galicia - but would be only in 2015 that she completed her first full-time campaign in the championship.
She scored points in all the three following seasons, before moving to the first ever edition of the all-electric Moto E World Cup.
Racing for Aspar Team MotoE, Herrera is enjoying a positive start of the 2021 season: the Spaniard has so far scored points in every round so far, as the championship entered its second half last weekend at Assen.
Herrera was ninth at Jerez, tenth in Le Mans and eleventh at Barcelona prior to the Dutch weekend.
The first rider to complete their lap in the E-Pole session was Andre Pires, who had finished last in the practice sessions. Jasper Iwema was second in line - the home rider was 2 seconds faster.
It was then Maria Herrera's turn - and she was much faster than her two competitors. After the three sectors, the Spanish woman was over a second faster than Iwema. In the end, she crossed the line with a solid 1:44.951 that gained her the provisional pole.
Kevin Zannoni would then top Herrera's lap time, but Andrea Mantovani slotted behind the only female rider on the championship due to a mistake at the start of his lap that almost ended up in a high-side. Casadei had a brilliant lap that pushed Herrera third in the timing screens. Cardelus' lap was then cancelled due to track limits violations.
Pons had too much wheel spin at turn five and lost half a second, but still put himself on provisional front row. Unfortunately, a few moments later, he also saw his time deleted having exited the pit line under the red light. Yonny Hernandez was very fast in the first sector but went off track in second - his lap time would also be cancelled.
Fermin Aldeguer, Herrera's teammate at Aspar, also had issues with wheel spin at turn five but still managed to go fastest with a 1:43.928 effort. Aldeguer's time was beaten by both Matteo Ferrari and Lukas Tulovic. Aegerter couldn't put together his best lap and finished third, before Eric Granado topped the times despite a big mistake by the Brazillian rider.
Alessandro Zaccone also lost some time, but he made up for it with a great final sector.
Then, unexpectedly, the white and red-crossed flags started to wave from the marshal posts, signaling the rain had come - in the last sector, on the final lap.
Zaccone had to slow down and his time would remain the third fastest.
In the end, Eric Granado took pole position, and Maria Herrera lined up from 12th on the grid.
Sunday The iconic Assen circuit provided another entertaining race, with seven laps of action-packed racing. At the lights out, Dominic Aegerter lost a position, as Tulovic overtook Granado. Herrera managed to hold 12th place. A few corners later, Zaccone also overtook the pole sitter and Aegerter crashed at the chicane right before the start/finish line - which dropped him to last. He had in fact managed to lift his heavy bike and continue. Zaccone overtook Tulovic soon after Granado, and Torres and Okubo followed suit. But with another lead change, Granado overtook Zaccone at turn 1 to get back into the lead. Jordi Torres managed to climb to second and passed Zaccone; Fermin Aldeguer was off the track after he had hit the rear wheel of his rival during an overtaking attempt. Herrera dropped to P15 when Granado started to build his lead. Torres started getting close to Granado, but one mistake cost him his second position. He tried to get back ahead - but at that moment, the Spaniard made elbow to leg contact with Zaccone that would prove costly for the Italian: while he somehow managed to avoid a fall, he paved the way for Torres who climbed back to second. Eric Granado won the fourth round of the season at TT Assen, while the reigning champion Jordi Torres was second and the current championship leader Alessandro Zaccone was third. Maria Herrera finished in 15th place.
“The start wasn’t bad, I won a position, and in the first laps, I dropped my best time. I knew that either I hit the drivers in front, or it would cost me a lot. With the wind that has risen, I could not move the bike well and in the fast corners, I started to lose contact with the group."
A shoulder injury from a previous accident was also proving challenging for Herrera.
"The fall when I competed in the Supersport World Cup didn’t help me." - she added.
"We add a point and now it’s time to think about Austria”, concluded the Aspar Team rider.
Moto E World Cup will be back alongside MotoGP at Red Bull Ring in Austria, on 15th August.