Nicholas Spinelli claims maiden victory at Dutch WorldSBK

Nicholas Spinelli claims maiden victory at Dutch WorldSBK

Nicholas Spinelli secured his maiden victory at the Dutch WorldSBK in Assen, pulling luck with the timing of a red flag after taking a tyre choice gamble.

Barni Spark Racing’s Nicholas Spinelli claimed a stunning debut win in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship after a tyre gamble and a fortunately timed red flag handed him the Dutch WorldSBK Race 1 victory, also marking the team’s first win in the series.

After bursting into the lead and pulling out a 25-second lead on intermediate tyres before his rivals started closing him down but following the red flags the Italian was able to take a debut win during the Pirelli Dutch Round.

Spinelli gambled with tyres by starting with a front and rear intermediate tyre on his Panigale V4 R, becoming a race leader in his first WorldSBK outing and moving four seconds clear at the end of Lap 1, before that increased to 14 seconds at the end of Lap 2.

Rain had begun to fall at the end of the preceding WorldSSP300 race, and by the time the riders were lining up for the WorldSBK race the final sector was almost completely dry, so most riders chose slick tyres.

Some more rain right at the start of the race made track conditions more treacherous still, but most slick runners stayed out, apart from Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Sam Lowes who pitted for wets.

The second half of the race saw Alvaro Bautista and Toprak Razgatlioglu break clear as the best of those who started on slicks, and they had the gap to Spinelli down to three seconds with seven laps to go.

A red flag then, for fluids halted their charge and saved Spinelli, who is racing for the Barni Spark Ducati team this weekend in place of Danilo Petrucci who was injured in a motocross crash last week.

Lap 15 marked the two-thirds cut off for the race to not be restarted under a red flag, meaning Spinelli was declared the winner in somewhat fairytale circumstances.

Toprak Razgatlioglu had managed to pass Alvaro Bautista, meaning he secured second place ahead of the Spaniard, who nonetheless reduced his championship deficit to one point after a particularly poor race for Nicolo Bulega who finished 11th.

Remy Gardner was fourth on the leading Yamaha, ahead of the top Kawasaki of Alex Lowes in fifth and Jonathan Rea in sixth. Michael van der Mark was seventh, ahead of Scott Redding in eighth, ninth-placed Axel Bassani, and Xavi Vierge who rounded out the top 10 for Honda.

Locatelli was classified in 12th after suffering a technical issue while Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) was 13th after fighting his way up the grid. Tarran Mackenzie (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda) recorded his best finish in 14th while Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) completed the points scorers.

Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW), Adam Norrodin (PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda), Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) and Sam Lowes were the last classified riders. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing) retired after a technical problem, with Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing) and Iannone also non-finishers.

2024 Dutch WorldSBK Race 1 Results

2024 WorldSBK Championship | Dutch Round | TT Assen | Race 1 Results | Round 3/12
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Nicholas SpinelliITABarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 RWIN
2Toprak RazgatliogluTURROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR3.205
3Alvaro Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R3.392
4Remy GardnerAUSGYTR GRT YamahaYamaha R15.989
5Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR6.256
6Jonathan ReaGBRPata Prometeon YamahaYamaha R16.361
7Michael van der MarkNEDROKiT BMW MotorradBMW M 1000 RR6.474
8Scott ReddingGBRBonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR12.289
9Axel BassaniITAKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR12.013
10Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRCHonda CBR1000RR-R17.794
11Nicolo Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R25.271
12Andrea LocatelliITAPata Prometeon YamahaYamaha R140.632
13Dominique AegerterSUIGYTR GRT YamahaYamaha R157.577
14Tarran MackenzieGBRPetronas MIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R1:03.958
15Bradley RayITAGMT94 YamahaYamaha R11L
16Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action BMWBMW M 1000 RR1L
17Adam NorrodinMASPetronas MIE Racing TeamHonda CBR1000RR-R1L
18Philipp OettlGERGMT94 YamahaYamaha R12L
19Sam LowesGBRMarc VDS Racing TeamDucati Panigale V4 R3L
DNFMichael Ruben RinaldiITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 RDNF
DNFAndrea IannoneITATeam Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 RDNF
DNFTito RabatESPPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RRDNF

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