The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team got off to a convincing start in Pirelli Portuguese Round. Michael Rinaldi and Alvaro Bautista finished second and fifth, respectively, in the combined standings.
The Italian rider was the protagonist of an extremely positive Friday. After finishing FP1 with the fastest lap, in FP2 Rinaldi worked with the team to collect data that could prove useful for tyre choice, especially in view of the two long races on Saturday and Sunday.
In the afternoon session, Bautista was able to lower his FP1 time by three-tenths, although the feeling with the softer tyre was not particularly positive.
P2 – Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
FP1 > P1 – 1’40.965
FP2 > P4 – 1’41.296 (+0.576)
“It was a pretty positive Friday. We started this morning on the right foot and in the afternoon we worked a lot in sight of the race. All in all it was a very consistent day and the race pace is positive. The goal for tomorrow is to get a good start and stay with the front group for the whole race.”
P5 – Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #19)
FP1 > P5 – 1’41.512 (+0.547)
FP2 > P3 – 1’41.223 (+0.503)
“We worked a lot on the tyres in both FP1 and FP2. The feeling in the morning was very positive while in the afternoon, probably due to the higher temperature, I wasn’t able to make the most of the softer tyre. Anyway, I am confident ahead of tomorrow”.
After a good FP1 closed with the fifth time, in FP2 Bulega had to deal with a technical problem that did not allow him to improve.
P9 Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
FP1 > P6 – 1’44.832 (+0.472)
FP2 > P9 – 1’44.947 (+0.687)
“Unfortunately I could only do a few laps in the afternoon. We can’t let this problem affect us though. Tomorrow I will still give my best first in qualifying and then in the race”.