A brave tyre gamble paid off for the Nicholas Spinelli (Barni Spark Racing Team) at the TT Circuit Assen in Race 1 of the Dutch Round. On a drying track the Italian rider, making his WorldSBK debut, was the only rider to opt for intermediate tyres and he was rewarded with a stunning victory. Spinelli, a replacement rider for the injured Danilo Petrucci, was immediately able to get to the front of the field and led every lap before a red flag ended proceedings. The red flag was brought about by a technical failure for Andrea Locatelli (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) and ensured the first WorldSBK victory for the long standing Barni Spark Racing Team.

Toprak Razgatlioglu (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) and Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) joined Spinelli on the podium but the red flag, on Lap 14, cost them the chance to win the race. The duo had closed down a margin of over 20 seconds at one point before being in position to attack for the win prior to the stoppage.

Earlier in the day Jonathan Rea (Pata Prometeon Yamaha) splashed his way to Superpole success in wet conditions. The Northern Irishman claimed the 44th pole position of his career and his first for Yamaha. He will start tomorrow’s ten lap Tissot Superpole Race from pole position and came away from Race 1 with a sixth place finish.

Championship leader Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) started from the front row of the grid but had to settle for just 11th position at the end of the race. He maintains a championship lead but is now just one point ahead of Razgatlioglu and Bautista.

P1 | Nicholas Spinelli | Barni Spark Racing Team
“It’s incredible because this is my first race and I am in front of Toprak and Bautista! It’s really incredible. The first time I rode a Superbike was in Friday Practice but this bike is very strong. I have tried to approach this weekend step by step and session for session. I don’t have experience with this bike. I told my team that I didn’t know which tyre to use and the team decided to go for the intermediate. I had a gap of 25 seconds but by the last lap the gap was closer! When I saw it was four seconds I thought ‘no! It’s over for me.’ When I saw the red flag it was very lucky for me but that’s the race! I’m happy for this win because it’s very incredible.”

P2 | Toprak Razgatlioglu | ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team
“Firstly, congratulations to Spinelli. I needed just one more lap but the race finished like this. I was enjoying this race a lot. The first laps were exciting because the first sector was wet and we were sliding. You are trying to stay on the line for this. I needed a victory here for BMW but in the end we finished in second position. We will see what happens tomorrow but everyone is working hard for the best position possible.”

P3 | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“This was a crazy race! It seemed like the first half of the race was about relaxing and not making a mistake but the second part of the race was attacking at 100% or even 120%! It was crazy. In the beginning there were a lot of overtakes all around the lap. It was crazy but I enjoyed this race a lot. The red flag meant that we missed the last seven laps and I think it was going to be a good battle for the victory with Toprak. In any case I’m happy and congratulations to Spinelli because it was incredible. It was a really good tyre choice.”

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