It’s time for Round 4 of the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, and before the weekend at the Dutch GP it was pre-event Press Conference time. Points leader Alessandro Zaccone (Octo Pramac MotoE) was joined by Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40), Miquel Pons (LCR E-Team), Lukas Tulovic (Tech3 E-Racing) and home hero Jasper Iwema (Pons Racing 40) to talk about the new challenge of taking on the truly legendary TT Circuit Assen.
Here are some key quotes:
Alessandro Zaccone: “I rode here with the Supersport, I think five years ago? But the track is nice, it’s different from Barcelona, but I think we have a good base to fight also on this track. Dominique is in a great moment, he’s fast and very close, but we’ll fight this weekend.
“I think here will be very similar to Le Mans, I hope to not touch the green again! But for sure it’ll be nice, this year MotoE races are very good, great battles always, and for sure here with the last chicane it’ll be fun.”
Dominique Aegerter: “It’s a new track like in Barcelona, first time for MotoE at this track. I know the track quite well and rode here a few months ago with the Supersport Ten Kate team, and in the past I’ve ridden in Moto2 and 125s around this track, so we’ll check with the team our setup, what we’ll try these Free Practices and this weekend, and I hope I can switch fast from SSP to the MotoE bike. The bikes are completely different so it should be no problem! I hope the weather will be stable so we can try some different settings and get more used to the track and the bike, just focus for P1 and then let’s see how it works.
“It’s important to be fast from the start in FP1, when we have a dry session to have a base setup and a good laptime in the practice, and then just try to continue this way. But in wet practices, we have a wet setting we used in Le Mans last year so we’ll put that on, and see how it’ll be. For everyone it would be the same but hopefully we’ll have a dry weekend, looking forward to some sun here in Assen.”
Jordi Torres: “First of all, I think the most important thing for me this weekend is to be more aggressive and try to take more risk because in this category, everything can happen in a few laps and for sure at this track it can be a good race, fun, like Alessandro says. I think these kinds of tracks that are so rideable and fast corners, with good grip, there are big battles and show the potential of the bike and tyres. We’ll see what happens here, for sure here it’s important to be aggressive and try and get the most points possible, be closer to the front guys because here as Domi says, from FP1 they are very fast and try and get the first brake points, tips for the corners, because in these kind of chicanes – and the last chicane – there are many tips to get faster and put the power on the ground.
“For me I think the worst part is the straight! But I think the best part of my riding style is when I release the brakes, not braking late because I think I brake normally, but I stop the bike well and I can release the brakes and have high corner speed. In these tracks it’s easier for my riding style but if the track is more stop and go it’s difficult for my riding style.”
Miquel Pons: “I’m very excited to come here for the first time to the Cathedral of Speed! I’ve practiced on the Playstation at home, that’s all I know of this circuit! But in the French GP I didn’t know the circuit, and in E-Pole I got second place, I think I can do the same.
“The expectation has changed a bit because we think now we have a chance to fight at the end of the season for the Cup, but our daily work doesn’t change, we continue working on the same points, focused the same, and we’ll see.”
Lukas Tulovic: “Exactly what I’ve been talking about this morning with Herve over a coffee: I’ve been fast in Free Practice, I topped Friday in Barcelona, fast in E-Pole but we just miss that extra in the race, which normally in the past was my strength to find something extra in the pressure of the race or qualifying, but this year you can see I’m struggling a bit in that last part of the race and that’s the plan for this weekend and the next weekends, to focus more on the race. We’ll continue working in that way, not focus on a fast lap but focus on the race and hopefully we can improve and take some more points.
“In general, it’s quite difficult to overtake with these bikes, they’re completely different to a normal bike, heavier and electric engine, the slipstream doesn’t help as much as Moto2, so it’s difficult to overtake with these bikes, so we need to work in this direction to be better in the race, to be able to overtake, and also to be more in the group in Free Practice. So when there are some riders leaving pitlane, go with them and not just be on my doing my own fast laps. So we’ll do it that way and see how it’ll work out. And the weather will be interesting this weekend for sure, in Assen you never know!”
Jasper Iwema: “It’s definitely not easy being out of road racing for such a long time, it’s not easy coming to tracks like Jerez, Barcelona and Le Mans where it’s eight years ago I rode there! It’s difficult, and racing a totally different bike is something else to adapt to. But step by step I’m moving forward, I’m enjoying it, really liking it and now I arrive at a track I know a bit better… at least it wasn’t eight years ago, only five! So I think that’s good, I’m positive I know the track well from the past and I’ll continue enjoying and learning.
“The riders sitting here have been here more recently than me, because for me it’s still been five years! But I think from the past from before that, I have enough experience where I know what to do on this track, we’ll see in FP1 what I still remember from that!”
MotoE™ go racing at 15:30 (GMT +2) on Sunday at the TT Circuit Assen, with the electrifying final chicane waiting to greet the field…