Jordi Torres took his first win since his Superbike riding days as he held off a rapidly approaching Mike Di Meglio in the penultimate MotoE race in Le Mans.
The Spaniard scored E-Pole in the morning on his Pons Racing HP 40 bike, but it was championship leader Matteo Ferrari who lead after a perfect start.
At turn three of the first lap of the restarted race the battle for the cup was blown wide open. Xavier Simeon (LCR E-Team) collectied the unlucky Dominique Aegerter (Dynavolt Intact GP), who ended his second race in a row in the gravel through no fault of his own. Simeon’s team-mate Niccolo Canepa joined them and Aegerter ended up pinned under his bike.
As the carnage unfolded Ferrari (Trentino Gresini) suffered his own fall at the next turn, leaving Torres free to make a break at the front.
That left him ahead of the pack with a sizeable lead. With just five laps to hold on, Torres was not to have an easy ride – French rider Mike Di Meglio had home heroics on his mind and set about reeling in the number 40.
Torres held his line and stayed ahead by just 0.116s for both his and his Pons team’s first victories in the class. He moves into the title lead with 104 points, eighteen clear of Ferrari.
Di Meglio took second for EG 0,0 Marc VDS. He brought Niki Tuuli along with him and the Finnish winner of the first MotoE race returned to the podium with third – his first top ten finish this season for Avant Ajo MotoE.
Josh Hook stayed clean and trouble free to claim his best result of the season in fourth for Octo Pramac.
The Australian was over two seconds clear of Tommaso Marcon (Tech 3 E-Racing), who didn’t recover from serving his three place grid penalty for causing the crash with Aegerter in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
The Italian held off Avintia’s Eric Granado in the run to the line.
There was then a small gap back to seventh placed Maria Herrera (Openbank Aspar Team). She in turn held off a late charge from her team-mate Alejandro Medina for the position.
Alessandro Zaccone was a distant ninth on the second Trentino Gresini entry. Lucas Tulovic fought through any issues resulting from his recent injuries to complete the top ten for Tech 3.
Xavi Cardelus (Avintia Esponsorama), Alex De Angelis (Octo Pramac) and Jakub Kornfeil (WithU Motorsport) were next to see the flag, while Aegerter fought back to finish the race in 14th.
Mattia Casadei paid the price for his poor qualifying – he assaulted the race from the off to try and make up for his back of the grid placing and fell at turn four while pushing hard on the first lap. His fall caused a red flag and race restart while the track was cleaned and his bike removed. The incident effectively ended his slim title hopes.