Dominique Aegerter delivered a masterclass in a rainy qualifying session, but in retrospect he was still the unrewarded hero on Saturday afternoon at Le Mans.
A heavy rain shower shortly before the start of E-Pole was the catalyst for an unholy mess in determining the starting grid for the second round of the season in the electric bike series. In rainy conditions, the format get changed from a single lap E-Pole to a twelve-minutes long qualifying session so that all participants have the same conditions. Four flying laps from each rider will be used for scoring.
After three free practice sessions at a dry track, Dominique Aegerter easily managed to adapt to the changed situation. Already in his second lap, the 30-year-old Swiss was clearly on pole position course. But because of the difficult conditions there were some crashes of other riders resulting in a lot of yellow flag signals along the track. Recently, there has been a rule change for this, which does not meet with the understanding of everyone involved. If a yellow flag is violated, the respective lap is cancelled. Aegerter was hit particularly hard today, as his series of absolutely fastest lap times were all cancelled. He will therefore have to start from P6 on the starting grid on Sunday.
The race has been moved at short notice from Sunday morning to afternoon. New starting time is now 15:30 CET.
#77 Dominique AEGERTER (Dynavolt Intact GP, Energica), Grid position 6th - 2´03.417:
"Today had many surprises in store, and not just in terms of the weather. Qualifying was perfect from our point of view. I quickly had a good feeling for the track’s difficult conditions and got up to speed straight away. I felt amazingly comfortable with the bike and everything around it. My crew did a great job by setting up the bike perfectly. Out on the track I was the fastest, but the rules are what they are, even if I find them a bit strange. Therefore, I think they should be reconsidered because in my four timed laps, three of them I had yellow flags. So, all these laps were cancelled and therefore the time from my first flying lap counts."
"This is why it should not be a big surprise if I am hugely disappointed now. Instead of starting from pole position, I now have to start from the second row in sixth place. So, the joy over my first pole this year did not last long. However, it was more hectic after qualifying than the session itself because I do not think it is properly regulated. But the race is tomorrow and my starting position in the second row is not hopeless. In any case, I will give everything to get the ranking right again. Hopefully, those responsible will think about it after today's happenings and change the rules so that in future the fastest rider after qualifying or e-pole will also be on the best grid position."
#FrenchGP - MotoE™ Qualifying:
1 Eric GRANADO / BRA / One Energy Racing / Energica / 2´00.315
2 Miquel PONS / SPA / LCR E-Team / Energica / 2´00.416 +0.101
3 Matteo FERRARI / ITA / Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE / Energica / 2´00.655 +0.340
6 #77 Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Dynavolt Intact GP / Energica / 2´03.417 +3.102
#FrenchGP - MotoE™ Time Schedule for Sunday May 16th (CET):
15:30 Rennen (8 Runden - 33,480 km)