The Italian Round Race 1 held today at the Autodromo Enzo and Dino Ferrari in Imola delivered another great show to all WorldSBK fans. After the start, the race saw Locatelli (Yamaha), Bassani (Ducati), and Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) taking turns at the lead, while Alvaro Bautista (who started from fourth ) remained in the leading group. Then the duel between the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team rider and Razgatlioglu ignited with Bautista finally taking the lead with eight laps to go, and his progression was decisive until the checkered flag.
Like his teammate, Michael Rinaldi had also to deal with an unfortunate qualifying as the yellow flags denied him the pole or, at least, an almost certain front row at the last corner. As he was starting from eighth on the grid, the Italian rider gritted his teeth and was the protagonist of a solid comeback, which saw him secure an excellent fifth place.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“It was a tough race. I am delighted because I did not expect to be able to go this fast, especially after yesterday’s free practice, where my feeling was not the best. However, lap after lap. I regained confidence despite a strong tussle. I tried to figure out where to attack Toprak, and when I felt the confidence at the front was good, I could pass him. It was a good Saturday, but now let’s think about tomorrow”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“For sure, today’s qualifying was affected by the yellow flags. I am still not in my best physical condition, but I did my best and gave all my heart to make a comeback in the race. I did not want to push too much, especially at the beginning, because it was important to score some points. I tried to catch Locatelli for fourth, but the gap was too wide after the previous comeback. I hope to be able to do a good Superpole Race tomorrow to start further ahead in Race 2”.
Nicolò Bulega secured third place with the Ducati Panigale V2 machine of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team in WorldSSP Race 1. As he started from P2, the first few laps of the Italian rider were not that incisive, but later his race pace significantly improved, allowing him to battle for second and secure a precious third place on the podium.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“Third place is still a good result as we got important points for the Championship. Hopefully, we will improve tomorrow. Due to the scorching temperatures, today’s feeling wasn’t the best.”