Nikki Tuuli Wins Red-Flagged Inaugural MotoE Race

by Nat Jarvis

Nikki Tuuli has made history to take both pole position and the win at the inaugural MotoE race. He remained safe in a chaotic race, which was red-flagged at one stage, to be joined on the podium by Bradley Smith and Mark De Meglio.

The race-start process for the 2019 Enel X MotoE World Cup is very different from the usual process we see in the Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP classes. In MotoE, the riders get a one minute board at which point the tyre warmers come off and the mechanics must vacate the grid. The riders then go straight to the start with no warm-up lap, also known as a “cold start”.

As the lights went out for the inaugural race, it was Bradley Smith on his One Energy Racing machine who made a fantastic start. Going into turn one, Smith was in second before making a move for the lead at turn three. Meanwhile pole-sitter, Niki Tuuli, had a poor start dropping back to fifth.

However, Smith wasn’t able to run away with the race as Mike Di Meglio and Niki Tuuli started to fight back on lap two; The top three were constantly swapping positions as they battled for the first MotoE victory.

As the race progressed, it was clear that Smith was stronger through the first half of the lap, however Niki Tuuli was stronger through the second half of the lap. This saw the gap opening and closing through the different sectors of the Sachsenring Circuit.

Further down the field, there was a tight moment between Alex De Angelis and Xavier Simeon. Simeon tried to pass De Angelis into turn three the pair made contact that very nearly ended in an accident. Fortunately, both riders stayed on and finished the race in sixth and seventh respectively.

The race was red-flagged on lap 6 after Lorenzo Salvadori threw his Trentino Gresini MotoE machine at the fence. The weight of the bike, which is 260kg compared to MotoGP’s 156kg, was evident as the bike carried a massive amount of momentum. This caused the air-fence to rupture, bringing out the red flag.

The result was decided by using the last completed lap, meaning that Niki Tuuli took the win, from Bradley Smith and Mike De Meglio.

The next time we will see the Enel X MotoE World Cup in action will be at the RedBull Ring in Austria. This will take place on the 9th, 10th, and 11th August 2019. The Checkered Flag will have all the latest updates so stay tuned!

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