It was a strong opening day for Italian Michael Ruben Rinaldi, as the Italian took to Argentine tarmac for the first time in his young yet fruitful WorldSBK career
Top Independent after day one and just less than two weeks after his best ever Tissot Superpole result, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team) completed his first day ever at the Circuito San Juan Villicum in third place. The Italian rider was by far one of the stand-out performers in World Superbike after the opening two sessions of the weekend, as the Ducati Panigale V4 R was one of the packages to watch out for as the weekend’s action commenced.
Rinaldi set 35 laps around the 4.276km layout, as he visited the circuit for the first time in his racing career. Finishing third, albeit 1.229s behind fellow Ducati rider Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati), Rinaldi will be comforted by the fact that he leads the battle for third into Saturday, whilst also motivated at having a gap to chip away at throughout the remainder of the weekend.
Reviewing action from Friday, Rinaldi said: “I am quite happy about the work we have done today, of course, it is the first time here and to finish third is a good result for us. But we know we have to improve.”
So far, Rinaldi has no publicly confirmed ride for 2020 and a strong weekend in South America could enhance his prospects for next season. Although Italian, he also has South American heritage, with his mother coming from Venezuela. As close as this will be to a ‘second home’ round for him, Rinaldi will be keen to impress and recapture a top ten placing in the WorldSBK standings, something he is just 13 points adrift of.
Continuing to discuss day one, Rinaldi stated his happiness going into the remainder of the weekend, saying: “We improve a lot from the last races, and I am happy. It is a little bit late because it is the end of the championship, but nonetheless I am happy. A big thank you to my team and Ducat.”
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