On the one hand the great satisfaction for the superb race of Michael Rinaldi, who started from seventh position and found himself in the lead until eight laps to the end. On the other the bitterness and anger for the irresponsible manoeuvre of Rea (Kawasaki) who hit Alvaro Bautista forcing him to crash on lap 2.
These are the mixed feelings that the Sunday of the Pirelli French Round gives to the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team.
After a splendid Superpole Race closed in second place, Alvaro Bautista immediately took the lead but he was forced to abandon it on the second lap when Rea hit him in a dangerous manner.
Michael Rinaldi (who started from seventh position) is confident and after the incident caused by Rea finds himself chasing Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) and Bassani (Ducati).
On lap 8, with a stunning double overtaking move, he takes the lead of the race; Michael Rinaldi remains first until eight laps from the end, closing the race with a convincing podium (P2) that brings him up to the fourth position in the Superbike World Championship standings.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“I am very happy with this result. It was a very tough race with many battles. I pushed hard in the middle part of the race to stay in front and maybe at the end I didn’t have enough grip to fight with Toprak. But this podium gives us a lot of morale and also the knowledge that we can be very fast. I want to thank the whole team, who has always supported me”.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
“Rea’s behaviour was unacceptable because he didn’t make a mistake but hit me intentionally. It’s a manoeuvre you don’t expect from any rider, especially from a World Champion. Fortunately, I suffered no physical consequences in the crash. As if that wasn’t enough, he suffered a penalty that still allowed him to score points. I think it’s a really bad episode for the whole of Superbike also in terms of example for the young riders. In any case, we look ahead . I can’t wait to be in Barcelona.
After a difficult Saturday, Nicolò Bulega regained a good feeling with the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing team. The Italian rider made a good start and engaged in a good duel with Caricasulo (Ducati) and Baldassarri (Yamaha) in the early laps. From the middle of the race his race pace does not seem to be incisive enough to fight for the podium; despite that, Bulega grits his teeth and the falls of the two Italians allow him to celebrate a valuable third place in the parc ferme with his team.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“It was quite a difficult weekend. We struggled a lot and we have to understand why. The competition seemed to have another pace and I would like to congratulate Caricasulo because he went very strong and deserved to take points. I tried to break away from the group immediately by pushing in the early laps and it was the right strategy. In the end, I was lucky but still, I had the merit of being ready to take advantage of the opportunity. I want to thank the team who did a great job as always.”