Saturday at Donington saw Alvaro Bautista taking another extraordinary victory as he brought Ducati back to the top step of the podium in the UK Round after 12 years.
The Aruba.it Racing – Ducati Team rider (who was starting from second on the grid) engaged in a spectacular initial battle with Rea (Kawasaki), Razgatlioglu (Yamaha), and Lowes (Kawasaki). After taking the lead on lap 10, the Spanish rider’s race pace became unbeatable, allowing him to cross the finish line with a comfortable margin.
It was unlucky Race 1 for Michael Rinaldi. The Italian rider (P9 on the grid) had to deal with an unexpected rear wheel lock-up that cost him several positions. Rinaldi stayed on track to finish 13th and gather important data in preparation for the Superpole Race and Race 2 tomorrow.
Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #1)
“I am truly satisfied. For sure, this was a great victory, but what makes me happier is the feeling I managed to find with the bike. I had a lot of fun, first in the battle and then riding. It was a great Saturday, and we secured a victory on a circuit that historically hasn’t favored Ducati. For that, I thank the team for their excellent work today after a weather-affected Friday.”
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“It’s a shame. In the first lap, I had an issue with the rear. I even thought it was an engine-related problem, but it turned out to be just a wheel lock-up. I lost many positions and found myself last. But I didn’t give up. It was important to keep going and gather data. I’m confident that tomorrow will be a whole different story.”
It was a perfect Saturday for Nicolò Bulega and the Ducati Panigale V2 of the Aruba.it Racing WSSP team. The Italian rider secured the pole position (setting a new circuit record) and dominated from the first to the last corner in Race 1.
Nicolò Bulega (Aruba.it Racing WSSP #11)
“I said yesterday that we had to work on fixing some details that would allow us to be in the best conditions. The team did an extraordinary job and put me in a condition today that made me go very fast in both the Superpole and Race 1. I’m very happy, but my focus is already on tomorrow.”