"I didn’t expect to have this kind of race pace" – Rinaldi takes P2 at home on Saturday

Saturday, 3 June 2023 14:36 GMT

Back on the podium for the sixth time at Misano for the factory Ducati team, Michael Ruben Rinaldi will look to go one better on Sunday

It was a fine opening race of the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati), with the #21 Italian shining in second position. Having achieved a front row for the first time at Misano, Rinaldi’s second place makes it back-to-back podiums and sees him climb to sixth in the overall Championship standings.

It was a lightning start by Rinaldi, who had to battle with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) in the opening sector. Razgatlioglu tried to get around the outside at Turn 4 but Rinaldi was resilient and held position and despite Toprak’s attempts, Rinaldi eventually broke away. Initially holding a strong pace that saw him around one second behind teammate Alvaro Bautista, Rinaldi settled into the race and held onto second until he crossed the line. 

Speaking about his race and the pace he showed, it came as a surprise for Rinaldi: “I’m very happy for myself and for the team because it was a 1-2 and that’s always great! I’m really happy about my kind of performance, I didn’t expect to have this kind of race pace, but I was able to lap quickly. I couldn’t explain how Alvaro was doing his pace, he was riding absolutely unbelievably, so he deserves the win. I’m happy about what we’ve done; compared to last year and in 2021 when I won, I’m seven or eight tenths faster per lap so I’m really happy about this. For sure, I’ll try and win sooner or later. I’m really happy about this result.”

Rinaldi has had an up-and-down 2023 campaign so far with four podiums to his name in five rounds while he also had two retirements and three finishes outside the top ten. Two of these came at the TT Circuit Assen where he endured the toughest weekend of the season, finishing the races in 15th, 13th and 10th place across the two race days. Rinaldi, who has gone well at Misano in the past, discussed whether his pace today helped give him confidence heading into Sunday and a busy July in WorldSBK.

He said: “In Catalunya, we were able to finish on the podium and, with our pace in Race 1, we were able to make a podium. I got a bit unlucky. For sure, in the Netherlands, we faced problems and to be back on the podium helps.”

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