With an outstanding race, Michael Rinaldi rode his Ducati Panigale V4R in tenth place, where he would like to be on his debut at WeatherTech Laguna Seca Raceway, ninth round of MOTUL FIM WorldSBK.
In the early morning, during the FP3, Rinaldi managed to cut down half a second more from his best time of Friday (FP3 time: 1'24.901) but in the qualifying session he did even better lapping 1'23.740. Thanks to this time he placed himself in fifth row on the fourteenth spot.
After struggling in the early stages, the rider from Santarcangelo di Romagna gradually gained confidence, lapping with times that were more and more like those farther ahead. Fifteenth halfway Rinaldi started his comeback gaining three positions in four laps overtaking Reiterberger, Mercado, Cortese. When he moved down Laverty (lap 19), Rinaldi entered in the top 10, which was his position under the checkered flag.
The Italian rider put in his pocket six points more in the Championship standings. He holds now the eleventh position in the rankings, seven points far from the rider ahead, Cortese.
Marco Barnabò - Team principal
"It was not a bad race. Something went wrong in the first part of the race, We have to understand why we lapped with the same pace from the beginning to the end. If we would be able to be faster until halfway the position could be even better. Nevertheless top 10 is not a bad result thinking that it was the first race here for Michael".
Michael Ruben Rinaldi #21
"Considering that it was my first race here and that until this morning we was in trouble we took a good result. Once again the team made a good job giving me a bike that let me to ride with fluency. The hard work done definitely paid off. Something missed in the first part of the race but I think it’s quite normal thinking that all was new for me. Everytime we hit the track we are faster so I think one step more it will be possible tomorrow".