Matteo Ferrari became the third different rider to win an FIM Enel MotoE World Cup round this season in an action-packed first race of the double-header weekend at Misano.
The Italian held off Hector Garzo and Xavier Simeon during a tense final three laps to take the checkered flag after several title contenders crashed or retired over the course of the seven-lap contest.
The race started in dramatic fashion when title contenders Bradley Smith and Niki Tuuli tangled with Mattia Casadei on lap two, sending all three out of contention early on.
They were joined in retirement by erstwhile championship leader Mike di Meglio, who relinquished his place at the top of the standings when his EG 0,0 Marc VDS machine ground to a halt.
Another incident took out the home favorite Alex de Angelis, who high-sided his Octo Premac MotoE machine at Turn 5 while running in third with four laps to go.
This enabled Garzo to assume the place, behind Simon and Ferrari, who had started third and second on the grid respectively but moved ahead of de Angelis before the Sammarinese rider’s crash.
After that, Ferrari held station at the front until the end, while Garzo made a late move on Simeon at Turn 11 to snatch second position and his first podium of the inaugural MotoE season.
Ferrari, who rides for the Trentino Gresini MotoE outfit, crossed the line 0.187 seconds in front of Garzo, while Simeon came through a further four-tenths back.
The Italian’s victory puts him to the top of the MotoE standings with three races to go, including one more at Misano on Sunday. Di Meglio has now dropped to third, behind Simeon.
Swiss rider Jesko Raffin finished fourth in Race 1, marking his first top 10 finish of 2019, while Niccolo Canepa rounded out the top five.
Maria Herrera took the checkered flag in sixth, narrowly beating Lorenzo Savadori to the line.
RESULTS: Misano Race 1