WSBK race 1 in Misano: Rinaldi wins ahead of Toprak & Rea – Redding only fourth
Even before the start, Michael Ruben Rinaldi was very confident and said in an interview that he saw chances to win in the first race on Saturday. After P2 in FP1 and two best times in the other free practice sessions, the local hero missed the front row, but wanted to win from P4. He did that too and like in Estoril before, the Italian was on the move with a knife between his teeth and shortly after the start he almost pushed Jonathan Rea out of the curve. But the Northern Irishman did not give in, briefly lost a position and then fought his way back to the Ducati factory rider. Behind them, Scott Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu lost ground early on, while Rea followed the number 21 like a shadow up to lap 12. But then the Northern Irish almost fell, but miraculously stayed where he was.
Ducati Festival with the wrong winner
In the end, it was the Reds who, in the presence of the Ducati CEO, were able to celebrate their rider as the winner. But you could see on their faces that his teammate, as the reigning vice world champion, would have preferred to be on top of the podium. But Scott Redding did not make it to the podium for the fourth time in only 7 races after his fall in the second race at Estoril on Sunday two weeks ago. The defending champion, on the other hand, drove home a safe third place behind Rinaldi and Razgatlioglu on his Kawasaki after the miraculous rescue before his first racing crash of the season. This made exactly what we had warned about on Friday evening came true. After his less than convincing free practice sessions, we pointed out that just beating Toprak and his teammates could be a difficult hurdle for Scott. The fact that he had only finished fourth and Chaz Davies rushed to it, clouded the Reds’ joy considerably. Redding and his team would also have to be concerned about the following statement by Toprak, who finished far ahead of him.
Toprak Razgatlıoğlu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx): „I had a good qualifying lap today. After that, I started second and finished second too. Still, I can’t be completely satisfied with this race because I slipped too much with the rear tire on the first laps when entering the corner. I tried to stick with Jonathan and Rinaldi, but it wasn’t possible because I was fighting with Redding at first. But I think that I can also be happy with P2 because we are taking good points for the championship. Tomorrow I might try some set-up changes for the race because we need to improve. Rinaldi is very quick, and we definitely want to fight for victory. As many points as possible and good positions in the Superpole Race is the first goal for on Sunday. Then in the second race to fight for victory. We will try with all our might.”
The other winners along with Rinaldi, Toprak and Rea
With Sam Lowes in 5th place, Kawasaki was the second most successful team on Saturday and the man from Lincoln could be absolutely proud of his performance. Alvaro Bautista also convinced just behind, after HRC Honda riders Tom Sykes and Axel Bassani hadn’t given a chance in the finish. While Leon Haslam remained below his and the team’s expectations with P14, an important confirmation for his crew of the Spaniard that things are looking up again. As a private driver with just two days of testing on the completely new Kawasaki ZX-10RR before the start of the season, Lucas Mahias narrowly missed the top ten. With this, the fast Frenchman has finally proven that he has rightly earned the chance of his long-awaited entry into the WSBK from Kawasaki Puccetti. To see the checkered flag in 12th place after his start from the pit lane was a really strong performance by Garrett Gerloff. So you have to have the Texan on the bill for Sunday, unless he makes further mistakes like before in Aragon and Estoril.
Alvaro Bautista (HRC Honda): „Sixth place is our best result so far this season, but of course that’s not what we’re aiming for. We had a lot of struggles this morning in FP3 and my feeling wasn’t good, especially when braking. We made some changes for qualifying in order to find more stability. After that I improved a bit and although the feeling wasn’t perfect, I was able to ride more comfortably. It was unbelievable because after my best lap at Estoril was canceled due to a yellow flag, the same thing happened today with my first qualifying tire when Gerloff crashed. Fortunately, we now have a second tire available, so I was able to drive a decent lap and try not to exceed the limit. Starting from the third row was good because we were able to stay closer to the front and my pace was good. But when I fight with other riders, it’s difficult to change my line, and it’s hard to overtake. All in all, it was a positive day. We gathered a lot of data and made some changes to the setup that we need to analyze and then see if we can build on that to keep improving tomorrow.“
The big losers along with Davies and Redding – BMW and Andrea Locatelli
Finishing in 5th position in 8th position means another low point for BMW ace Tom Sykes and his team after the positions of the blue-whites in Portugal. Even if Michael van der Mark secured 10th place in the end, this is simply not enough. With an injured Eugene Laverty missing, Saturday started badly, and it hurts to see Jonas Folger in 16th place outside the points. With Andrea Locatelli, too, the question arises as to why he was appointed directly to the works team. Should he finish well behind Gerloff on Sunday, as is so often the case, many consider the answer to be given. As in the case of winner Rinaldi at Ducati, a works team only includes drivers who can really fight at the top. The Italian still owed this proof on the very first day of his home race. Just like for “Loca”, the air is slowly getting thinner and thinner for Tito Rabat. P15 is simply not enough for the Catalan coming from MotoGP.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team): „Saving a possible fall was luckier than anything. I chose the new front tire for this race. I had already used it in Superpole and felt pretty good, but after a total of ten laps we didn’t have a lot of information. It seems that the temperature, especially during the race, caused me to overheat the tire. It started moving quite a bit. When I got back on track, trailing Toprak, it felt better, not perfect, but less bad. So tomorrow we have to rethink things to see if we can be fast with our normal front tire. The new one put some confidence on the brakes, but I have to fight at the end of the race. My pace was okay in the last few laps, but the moment at turn one disrupted my rhythm and let Michael Rinaldi get away. He did a fantastic job today and the pace at the front was excellent. I think I will be able to take a small step with the bike tomorrow because I learned a lot from Michael and Toprak in the first race. Tomorrow we should be better prepared.“
Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team): „Things went much worse for me today than I expected. I still felt pretty good during the training sessions. I had done a lot of good laps and changed the front of the bike a bit. In the race, however, I didn’t have the necessary feeling and from the first laps I had problems releasing the brakes and taking some cornering speed with me. The front moved a lot. I had a couple of warnings from riders. So I didn’t have the confidence to push like I expected. It was a shame because I was hoping to be a little faster. But this was my first race here on the Kawasaki and of course the temperatures rose more and more. We definitely have good information for tomorrow.“
The result of the first Misano race
World Championship stand after 7 races
1, Jonathan Rea, GBR, Kawasaki, 126
2, T. Razgatlioglu, TUR, Yamaha, 95
3, Scott Redding, GBR, Ducati, 85
4, Alex Lowes, GBR, Kawasaki, 73
5, M. R. Rinaldi, ITA, Ducati, 50
6, Chaz Davies, GBR, Ducati, 48
7, Garrett Gerloff, USA, Yamaha, 46
8, M. v.d. Mark, NED, BMW, 46
9, Tom Sykes, GBR, BMW, 44
10, Andrea Locatelli, ITA, Yamaha, 37
11, Alvaro Bautista, SPA, Honda, 35
12, Axel Bassani, ITA, Ducati, 25
13, Leon Haslam, GBR, Honda, 18
14, Lucas Mahias, FRA, Kawasaki, 17
15, Tito Rabat, SPA, Ducati, 14
16, Kohta Nozane, JAP, Yamaha, 14
17, Eugene Laverty, IRL, BMW, 9
18, Jonas Folger, GER, BMW, 8
19, Isaac Viñales, SPA, Kawasaki, 7
20, Chr. Ponsson, FRA, Yamaha, 1
21, Loris Cresson, FRA, Kawasaki, 0
22, Leandro Mercado, ARG, Honda, 0
23, Sam. Cavalieri, ITA, Kawasaki, 0
The “Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli”
Misano weekend schedule
>WSBK Misano Preview see separate report on this page.
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