Double wins, two first-time 2021 winners and impressive performances throughout: the big quotes following a dramatic Misano weekend
The dust has started to settle on a thrilling MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) and Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) claiming their first wins of 2021. We caught up with some of the big stories coming out of the Pirelli Made in Italy Emilia-Romagna Round.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati): “I finished first and second this weekend but I missed something”
“I don’t remember how many messages I got on Saturday, a lot! Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to reply to them all because I already lost an hour and a half to reply to almost every message! I wish I could! I’m very impressed with Bassani, because when he came to WorldSBK, a lot of people say “pfff Bassani” but I know him from time before and he has talent. Sincerely, I finished first and second this weekend but I missed something. When you see the race, Toprak is much better than us in braking and this is a point that I complained about since Race 1.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK): “I’ve had enough of second, second, second…”
“I saw in the Tissot Superpole Race that when I followed Rinaldi, maybe I can win Race 2. I saw I was closing lap by lap, and I race to win, not to finish second. I’ve had enough of second, second, second; I needed to win. I’m not looking at the points as I will feel stressed. We have many races and I am coming step by step.”
Garrett Gerloff (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team): “it was nice to leave here without any drama!”
"It felt really good. That’s the best the bike’s felt all weekend which is a really big positive for us and for sure the best I’ve felt in the hot conditions and that’s normally it seems like where I struggle a little bit just maybe with my riding style a little bit. It was nice to have a bike working really well and I felt like I was able to be a lot more consistent than the rest of the weekend. It’s nice to end on a positive note.
"Maybe disappointed a little bit, but like maybe 1% because obviously it’s nice to have a good weekend. It was definitely difficult, but it was nice to leave here without any drama! To go to the next race, I feel like I can fully reset and everything. Like I said, we ended on a really good note with the bike setup and everything so fifth placed for me, I’ll take it."
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “We just need to find this piece to consistently push Jonny a little bit more”
"It’s not easy, the level of WorldSBK is going up. I think there’s lots of good riders on good bikes now, Kawasaki is a great bike, but you don’t see the differences we saw maybe even five, six years ago. I expected this year to be doing better, challenging for the podiums and close to Jonny but in hot extreme races like it, it was tough for him, I think. We saw him nearly crash and it’s not easy. If he’s not winning, it means it’s not easy! From this side of it, I think I’m doing a really good job. It’s quite tough actually if I’m honest, because you’re judged on the bike being the best bike in the paddock and Jonny being the best rider but then on the other side, is this the reality? I don’t know any more whether the package every weekend is the best personally. I have experience of riding different bikes in the past and know the level of different bikes and you’re just judged on this, expected to be at the front, but I think I’m doing a good job. I think I’m fast in every session, fast in all conditions, not making any mistakes. We just need to find this piece to consistently push Jonny a little bit more."
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK): “When I make a small mistake, I can’t stop the bike and square it off”
“When I’m watching Rinaldi and Razgatlioglu, they’re making small mistakes but still able to make the lap time; when I make a small mistake, I can’t stop the bike and square it off. I think the thing we missed the most at Misano was the bike changing direction, I was fighting a lot with the bike but Donington Park should be a track that suits us more, where we are at one with the bike. I just didn’t have it this weekend; the guys in front were a step ahead.”
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