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SBK, Spinelli: "When Barni called me, I thought I was going to race in the CIV, not the World Championship."

"I still can't believe what I did. Maybe I will tonight, when I'll say, 'what the hell happened today?!' The conditions were strange, but we were great, and I have to thank the team for the choice of tires."

SBK: Spinelli:

An 11th place scraped up from a qualifying session, which already seemed like a great result for a rookie like Nicholas Spinelli, during his first weekend in World Superbike Championship, replacing an injured Danilo Petrucci. But the Barni Spark racing team rider was able to do better, surprising everyone with a resounding victory in Race 1. A victory that was definitely a result of the circumstances, but also of the way Nicholas managed the tires, without even a singe imperfection in the 14 laps raced with the mediums, before the red flag.

"It's unbelievable. I still can't believe it, but maybe I will tonight when I go to sleep and say, 'what the hell happened today?!" Spinelli said at the end of the race, as he talked about his feelings. "I was already happy this morning, when I came close to the top ten, also because I tried an SBK for the first time yesterday. It's an incredible bike, with a lot of power, really fast. And, when you ride for the first time, it's scary. This morning, I lapped a little more, and became more confident. But today, in the race, I let the team choose the tires, because I didn't have enough experience with the Superbike, and I didn't know the conditions. I was more for the rain tires than the mediums, but they chose those, and it went well. I have to say also thank you to them, both for giving me this opportunity and for choosing the mediums. I'm really happy."

No one would have ever imagined such a debut, not even the rider from Abruzzo, who has won against the likes of Toprak Razgatlioglu and Alvaro Bautista.

"Even just being on the track with them is a great emotion, and winning in front of them is even more so. I know there were strange conditions, but we were also fast," he commented. "  don't know how it would've gone without the red flag. Even finishing around thte tenth place would've still been a great result, but first is better!" he said laughing. "I'm glad for the first place and the red flag."

A luck break that rewarded an almost perfect Spinelli, also thanks to the calmness with which he faced his debut in the Superbike World Championship.

"Right from the beginning of the weekend, I was very calm. I had less important chances than this one, but with a lot more pressure. This time, I had none because I wasn't risking anything. I had never been in the Superbike, and I didn't expect anything. I came here just to gain experience. Then, what happened today happened. I'm very happy," he admitted. "The race went well because, in the first few laps, it was raining in some sectors, and when the track started to dry, I had a good margin. I was very calm, even when I was first, because I took it as a test. I tried to do my best at every lap. I wasn't afraid of falling, because I wasn't risking anything. I was lucky with the red flag, but this is how races are. That's how it went."

It was a difficult win to process in the heat of the moment, even more so with such an exciting finish.

"I saw that my lead had dropped from twenty-five seconds to four the lap before the red flag. I said to myself, 'They got me. I'm going to do what I can'. Then, when I saw the red flag, I couldn't believe it was true,"  Nicholas said, as he explained what he felt at the moment of the suspension. "At first, I was asking how many laps were left, because I didn't know if the race was going to restart. When I realized the race was over, I exploded with emotion, even if you can't believe it at first. I still can't, even now."

Could it be a great result that puts something in Nicholas' pockets? "Do I have bonuses for winning? I don't know," he said laughing. "I don't know anything about the future and any bonuses, but I'm happy with this weekend," the 22-year-old admitted, grateful to the Barni team for this incredible opportunity.

"First of all, I want to say that I feel really bad for Danilo, and I hope he gets better soon," Spinelli stressed, recalling how the opportunity to race for the Bergamo-based team came about. "Last Saturday, Barnabò called me and asked me if I felt ready to race an SBK. I asked him when the next CIV race was, and then he asked me if I was ready to do twenty laps. I had never seen twenty laps in the CIV, so I figured he was talking about Superbike, and I wasn't even able to say yes right away, because I had no idea what was going on. It's incredible."


Translated by Leila Myftija

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