What followed was a masterclass from one of MotoGP™ eSport’s stars: Williams_Adrian. The Spaniard was a finalist in last year’s series, but has clearly made a huge step in performance this year. He dominated the opening round, claiming pole position in the two qualifying heats races before winning both races.
The manner in which the Red Bull KTM rider won was so impressive, taking the initiative at the first corner and leading every lap in both encounters. Not even Trastever73 or AndrewZH, the winners of the past three MotoGP™ eSport Championships between them, had an answer for Williams_Adrian’s blinding speed.
As Williams_Adrian led from the start in Race 1 at Mugello, there was a ferocious battle for second behind as Monster Energy Yamaha’s Trastevere73, Ducati Team’s AndrewZH, Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Williams_Cristian and Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Sanshoqueen all scrapped for position in a high-adrenaline set of exchanges.
Gradually Trastevere73 and reigning MotoGP™ eSport Champion AndrewZH began to show their class, as they closed the gap to the leader. AndrewZH posted the fastest lap the penultimate time around, and Trastevere73 got to within 0.2s of the leader with just three corners remaining, but it wasn't enough as Williams_Adrian expertly held his nerve to claim his first Global Series triumph by 0.7s, with Trastevere73 second and AndrewZH third as just one second covered the podium places.
Williams_Cristian, brother of the race winner, resisted the efforts of impressive Global Series rookie Sanshoqueen for a fine fourth, with the Indonesian a place behind and just a few tenths of a second back, in fifth.
There was drama from the first moment in Race 2 at Jerez, with Championship favourite Williams_Cristian crashing at Turn 1 after tangling with LCR Honda Castrol’s moe. By that point Williams_Adrian was building on an early lead. He never looked back, posting a succession of fastest laps that saw him build up a commanding lead. He took the chequered flag 2.1 seconds ahead of Trastevere73, who rode a near faultless race for a second runner-up place of the day.
It wasn’t all smooth running for trastevere73, however, as he was placed under increasing pressure by Sanshoqueen. In an astonishing performance in his first appearance in the Global Series, the Indonesian got within 0.3s of the two-time MotoGP™ eSport Champion on the final lap. Not to worry, as he claimed a brilliant first podium, signalling the start of what may be a surprising title challenge.
Behind there were excellent riders from Red Bull KTM Tech 3’s Juan_nh16, who finished fourth, and Aprilia Racing Team Gresini’s EleGhosT555, in in fifth. Sanshoqueen wasn’t the only rookie who impressed; Repsol Honda Team’s FooXz was an excellent sixth in the Brazilian’s debut in the Global Series.
As Williams_Adrian cruised to victory, it would prove to be a deeply unhappy second outing for AndrewZH. The reigning MotoGP™ eSport Champion failed to find his rhythm from the first lap, and was promptly demoted from third to sixth in less than two laps. To compound a difficult day, he ran out of fuel on the exit of the final corner, dropping him a place to seventh. That means he already finds himself 25 points behind in the Championship race...