Niki Tuuli won Sunday morning’s inaugural round of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup after a thrilling race at the Sachsenring that saw lead changes from start-to-finish.
The Ajo rider started from pole but battled for the lead throughout with Bradley Smith, Mike Di Meglio and Hector Garzo.
The race was called two laps early when Lorenzo Savadori crashed at the Turn 8 left-hander, sliding into the gravel trap.
His bike burst the airbag barrier, forcing the red flag to come out as repairs would have been necessary.
This meant results from the end of Lap 5 were used to determine the finishing order, putting Tuuli ahead of Smith and Di Meglio.
Smith took the lead from Tuuli into the infield loop on the first lap, with Garzo moving up to second and Tuuli initially dropping back to fifth.
The Finnish rider then made his way back up to third by the end of the first lap, before Di Meglio moved past Smith for the lead at the first corner on Lap 2.
Those three riders then swapped the lead on several occasions during the second and third laps before Tuuli settled into a rhythm out front by Lap 5; what was to become the final lap.
Smith finished second, 0.442 behind Tuuli, while third-placed Di Meglio was one-tenth further down. Garzo and Matteo Ferrari completed the top five.
Seventeen riders finished, with only Savadori retiring early.
The race was held on a drying track after rain earlier in the day, sending riders out into unfamiliar conditions after the weekend’s previous running had been held in the dry.
The declaration of a wet race also meant it was scheduled for a seven-lap distance rather than eight.