ERIC Granado fended off Hector Garzo and Bradley Smith to take his first MotoE World Cup win of the season in this afternoon’s first race.
After a nearly race-long scrap with the two title fighters, all ahead of championship leader Matteo Ferrari, the Avintia Esponsorama rider held on to win by just a few bike lengths.
Granado looked to get the strongest start hen the lights went out for the seven-lap scrap, but it was One Energy’s Smith who grabbed the holeshot head into the first turn as Tech3 E-Racing rider Garzo slotted into second before Simeon moved ahead of him before championship leader Ferrari followed him through.
Garzo, who has already signed up with Tech3 for next season, was quick to find a way back through, but at the front it was Smith who continued to pull away from pole-sitter Granado.
The Spaniard didn’t pack in, however, and he dropped the hammer to tag onto the back of Granado as he and the Brazilian quickly closed down Smith and tagged onto the back of him with three laps remaining.
With two laps to go, Smith fell victim of a double overtake as Granado and Garzo moved ahead in his slipstream, but the Brit managed to hit back straight away to maintain second as Garzo grabbed the lead.
On the run to the line to begin the final lap, Garzo squeezed up the inside of Smith as the two fell into their own tit-for-tat battle, passing each other a number of times on the run to the flag.
But their tussle allowed Granado to eke out a few bike lengths, enough to give him a cushion to take the win as Garzo cut back on Smith at the last turn as the Spaniard snatched second, moving him up to within 12 points of the championship tomorrow.
Ferrari held on to take fourth ahead of Simeon, while Alex De Angelis and Niccolo Canepa took sixth and seventh.
Dynavolt Intact’s Jesko Raffin, Octo Pramac man Josh Hook and Sic Squadra Corse rider Mattia Casadei rounded out the top 10.