Niki Tuuli scores inaugral Moto E victory in red-flagged Sachsenring contest
Niki Tuuli won a red-flagged inaugural Moto E world championship race at the Sachsenring in Germany after a heavy crash for Lorenzo Savadori.
The race had been shortened slightly from its scheduled eight laps to seven as the riders were granted an extra sighting lap due to the damp conditions, the race being declared wet just before the start.
Pole-man Tuuli made a poor start from the head of the field and slipped to fourth early on as Bradley Smith made a blistering start on his One Energy Racing-run Energica machine to snatch the lead at Turn 2 from Hector Garzo.
Tuuli quickly fought back however by fighting his way past Garzo, who had slipped to third courtesy of Mike Di Meglio, and then closing onto the back of the leading pair.
Di Meglio and Smith swapped the lead several times in the first few laps, but Tuuli had soon passed both of them to take the lead heading into Turn 4 at the start of the fourth lap.
He then pulled a small advantage that he would hold until the race was red flagged mid-way through lap six after Savadori had made contact with Eric Granado’s Avintia-run bike and slid off on the run into Turn 9.
The Ego Energica barrel-rolled several times through the gravel and smashed into the air fence, bursting it on impact and forcing a red flag. The race result was therefore called, the results being taken from the standings at the end of the fifth of the scheduled seven laps.
Di Meglio was classified second ahead of Smith who rounded off the podium, while Garzo took fourth ahead of Matteo Ferrari for the Gresini Moto E squad.
Alex de Angelis was sixth ahead of Xavier Simeon, with Eric Granado secured eighth just clear of MotoGP legend Sete Gibernau for the Pons team. Nico Terol completed the top ten on the Angel Nieto Team-run bike.