Maria Herrera continues point-scoring streak in Moto E
In the third round of the 2021 MotoE World Cup, Maria Herrera continued her streak of positive races, bringing home valuable points in Barcelona.
The all-electric Moto E World Cup, now at its third season of racing as part of the support package of MotoGP at selected races, continues to provide entertaining action and unpredictable races. At the Catalan round of Circuit Montmelo, the 18 riders tackled the third round of the 2021 season, with Maria Herrera - the only female rider on the grid and within the MotoGP weekend - targeting more points after a positive start of the season. Herrera was in fact ninth and tenth in the two previous races at Jerez and Le Mans.
After Friday's action, Lukas Tulovic was the fastest, ahead of reigning champion Jordi Torres, Yonny Hernandez and Eric Granado. 16-year-old rookie Fermin Aldeguer from Openbank Aspar Team was fifth.
Aldeguer's teammate, Maria Herrera, finished her first sessions in 13th place, and couldn't improve her time in the second session. This was caused by a new setting that the Spanish rider didn't feel comfortable with.
Ahead of Saturday, she said - "We started with enthusiasm in the morning, I wanted to try this circuit with the MotoE, and although it took me a bit to adapt in the first laps, little by little I have been feeling better and I have become faster and faster."
"Before the second session we made some changes, but they did not help us to improve because I was not feeling quite right when braking. It is time to continue working.”
After the final practice, Herrera was 14th - which determined that she would go out for her qualifying lap as one of the firsts.
Pires opened the session, but his time was quickly beaten by Zannoni, who went fastest by 2.167 seconds. Iwema then went faster than Zannoni.
Maria Herrera went in right after Corentin Perolari; the Spaniard lost some time in the first sectors but she still went second fastest.
Then Cardelus, Ferrari, Zaccone, and Aegerter were challenging each other for provisional pole, each one topping the others. When Jordi Torres set the best last sector, it was his turn to top the leaderboard. Eric Granado made a little mistake at the beginning of his lap, but he still placed himself on provisional pole, while Torres and Aegerter joined him on the front row.
Aldeguer, who was fastest after practices, lost half a second to the Brazilian rider and qualified seventh. Maria Herrera was 15th.
“We have improved two tenths compared to my best time and tomorrow I start from the fifth row. I will try to fight with the group, I will give my all, but this circuit is complicated and you have to be quick when changing direction." - said the Spanish rider.
"Today, from the first lap I felt a bit of movement in the front and I did not feel very comfortable. We have to see what happens, we have to adapt the driving style a bit and use the rear brake more.” - she added.
The race on Sunday was shortened to six laps. The start was aborted when Eric Granado, pole sitter, rose his hand for a technical problem. The Brazillian rider was removed from the grid and his bike placed in the pit lane. After the incident, most of the riders also signalled an issue - it is not clear if everyone had the same problem or they called for the start abortion.
Finally, the lights went out: Aegerter took the lead when Cardelus crashed on lap one. Herrera gained places, moving to P12. Pons also moved up to second.
Meanwhile, Eric Granado was catching up with the rest of the field. He would quickly start to move up the ranks.
Zaconne made a great move into turn 1, and went from fourth to first place. Another rider crashed - Iwema. Pons had lost his second position but finally took it back followed by Aegerter. When he was able to advance into the lead, he was followed by Torres and Zaccone - the latter having received a warning for track limits. Maria Herrera was in 12th position.
Mantovani fell and Torres dropped back to P4. Meanwhile, Casadei also crashed and Eric Granado overtook Maria Herrera - his great ride didn't last long: he also crashed, ruining his chances for a good result. Herrera was promoted to P11.
Pons, who had managed to climb into the lead, won ahead of Aegerter and reigning champion Torres, who finished third.
Maria Herrera brought home a solid P11 and more valuable points.
“I started well, but I was in a bad position at the first corner." - she summed up. "I had a bit of respect after the time we've been standing on the grid, because I didn't know how the tyres would respond."
"I have seen some falls and I have been cautious, and that has made me stay behind, but I have recovered some position. I have lacked sensations to be able to pull hard. I was trying, but I was spinning a lot and I couldn't control it. We are close, but I need to find myself a little more comfortable to compete with the group.” she said, summarizing her race.
Next Moto E race will take place on 26th June at Assen in Netherlands.