Zaccone in the zone: Italian takes impressive first MotoE victory in Jerez

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Alessandro Zaccone has had some pretty solid speed in preseason testing and throughout the first MotoE World Cup race weekend of the season, but the Italian really pulled it out the hat on race day.

Moving up to fight at the front early on, a crash out the lead for Eric Granado (One Energy Racing) saw the Italian take over and he kept cool, calm, collected, and, even more importantly, FAST on his way to his first ever MotoE win.

The riders he held off were 2020 challenger Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP) and reigning Cup winner Jordi Torres (Pons Racing 40) as both put in showcases in pace and consistency to take second and third, respectively.

Tech3 E-Racing's Lukas Tulovic took the holeshot from the middle of the front row as the lights went out for the first time in 2021, the German rolling around the outside of poleman Granado, but his lead didn't last for long as the Brazilian steamed back through on the run down to Turn 6.

Meanwhile, both Corentin Perolari (Tech E-Racing) and Kevin Zannoni (LCR E-Team) were caught in a tangle through Turn 5, bringing an early end to their afternoons.

Back nearer the front, Tulovic was starting to get bullied as Zaccone and Aegerter also found a way through in the final sector as the first lap was ticked off.

Some drama came not long after for the number 3, however, as he came together with Openbank Aspar Team's Fermin Aldeguer at Turn 6 and both went down, the Saturday star and speedy rookie ending the day with real disappointment.

Meanwhile, Granado was starting to pull clear thanks to the fastest lap of the race, and although Zaccone was digging in and trying to stay with him, there was daylight appearing between the two. 

Then, with five laps remaining, disaster struck for the Brazilian. Victory was surely his for the taking but a mistake at Turn 6 cost him dearly as he crashed out of the lead, at least remounting but riding round to grab the last few points. 

Zaccone was looking pretty collected as he took over at the front, but soon enough Aegerter closed in on the Italian's rear wheel and began applying some serious pressure. He threw the kitchen sink at it, but the Pramac man stood firm throughout the closing stages and that was all she wrote.

From a broken leg at the start of last season to a victory at the start of this, Zaccone crossed the line to announce some big progress in 2021 as he settles in with Octo Pramac MotoE.

Aegerter took second after warning late on from a bit of a moment, and he was pleased to have started the season with a podium, as was last year's World Cup winner as Torres began his defence with a solid third place. From both, consistency was a calling card once again. 

Ongetta SIC58 Squadra Corse's Mattia Casadei clinched fourth as he comes back from injury that saw him miss the first preseason test, and LCR E-Team's Miquel Pons took the final spot inside the top five after another good performance from the impressive rookie.

One of the rides of the day came courtesy of 2019 World Cup winner Matteo Ferrari (Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE) too, who managed to move through from the back of the grid to take sixth and recover some ground after his track limits infraction in E-Pole.

Hikari Okubo (Avant Ajo MotoE) was seventh, ahead of Andrea Mantovani (Indonesian E-Racing Gresini MotoE), Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team) and Yonny Hernandez (Octo Pramac MotoE) rounding out the top ten in the first race of the year. Granado eventually took 13th.

And so the sun sets on Spain and, MotoE, like the rest of the paddock, now saddles up and heads for Le Mans. Last year conditions were mixed and the round had the title on the line, so what will 2021 bring as the track hosts Round 2? Find out in two weeks!

MotoE podium:

1 Alessandro Zaccone Octo Pramac MotoE - Energica - 14:33.776
2 Dominique Aegerter 
Dynavolt Intact GP - Energica - +0.419

3 Jordi Torres Pons Racing 40 - Energica - +0.614

The MotoE podium Aegerter Zaccone and Torres