Season finale in Misano: Mattia Casadei becomes 1st MotoE World Champion, his team Pons says goodbye
Pons Racing was unbeatable at the MotoE season finale in Misano. With a win in Race 1, Mattia Casadei crowned himself the first world champion of the electric series. His teammate Nicholas Spinelli finished third. In the afternoon race, both swapped positions and stood on the podium once again in the farewell run from their team Pons. This also contributed to Pons securing the title in the team championship too ahead of Dynavolt Intact GP.
In the battle for the championship, Casadei benefited at his home race from the fact that Matteo Ferrari (Felo Gresini MotoE) and Jordi Torres (GasGas Aspar Team) were unable to intervene in the fight for the podium. This was because Torres had launched too early at the start, which catapulted him from 5th position into the lead, and was therefore penalised with two long-lap penalties. Ferrari's fastest lap in qualifying was cancelled, which is why he had to roll up the field from 10th position.
After Torres had served his penalties, Casadei led the race ahead of Spinelli and Garzo and only needed to finish to become world champion. However, Garzo in particular gave him a good battle for the race win. But Spinelli, as a team player, tried to hold off Garzo and give his colleague at the front some breathing space. This worked very well until the last lap and the Dynavolt rider had no serious chance to attack. It got dicey again on the last lap, but it wasn't enough, so Casadei brought home a perfect race and the title.
"I am so happy, I have no words. This is my dream. Thanks to my family, I am world champion," he said, still completely distraught after the race. In the press conference afterwards, Casadei specified: "We started the season with this goal and we achieved it. We had some problems at the beginning of the season, but I always knew that if we solve them, we can win races. That's what happened from Silverstone until here in Misano." In that time, the 24-year-old Italian won four out of six rounds. "I have wanted this title since 2019. If you always believe in it, it happens. But above all, it's a victory for my family, friends and sponsors."
The result of the 15th MotoE round in Misano
|1||Mattia Casadei||HP Pons Los40||13:35.506 min|
|2||Hector Garzo||Dynavolt Intact GP||+0.021 s|
|3||Nicholas Spinelli||HP Pons Los40||+0.241 s|
|4||Kevin Manfredi||Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse||+0.816 s|
|5||Kevin Zannoni||Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse||+0.898 s|
|6||Matteo Ferrari||Felo Gresini MotoE||+1.085 s|
In Race 2, Casadei took the lead from the start but had to fend off attacks from Spinelli on the first lap. The order remained the same until lap 4, when Casadei was overtaken on the inside by Spinelli after a driving error, and Garzo also slipped through. Garzo subsequently tried to overtake Spinelli but failed until the first corner of the last lap. Then, Garzo passed Spinelli first, and Casadei was able to benefit and overtake both of them. But Spinelli was not going to let that go, which led to a dramatic last sector in which Spinelli overtook his team-mate again in turn 11. Garzo finished the race in second place.
With a win for each rider, two podium finishes and world championship titles in the riders' and teams' championships, Misano 2023 was among the most successful race weekends in MotoE for Pons. Now, the team is retiring from Moto2 and MotoE after more than 30 years in the MotoGP environment. "It is time for something new," says the team principal. The Moto2 team will be taken over by MSI, while the future for the MotoE crew is unclear. Casadei says about his future: "My dream is to move to Moto2. But if that doesn't work out, I'll stay in MotoE. I don't know with which team yet, but then I'll stay."
The result of the 16th MotoE round in Misano
|1||Nicholas Spinelli||HP Pons Los40||13:34.056 min|
|2||Hector Garzo||Dynavolt Intact GP||+0.196 s|
|3||Mattia Casadei||HP Pons Los40||+0.429 s|
|4||Jordi Torres||GasGas Aspar Team||+1.000 s|
|5||Andrea Mantovani||RNF MotoE Team||+0.726 s|
|6||Kevin Zannoni||Ongetta SIC58 Squadracorse||+1.080 s|