WorldSBK Misano Race 1 | Rinaldi wins as Rea saves podium with save of season

Michael Ruben Rinaldi scores an emotional first factory Ducati WorldSBK win on home soil at Misano as Jonathan Rea skirts close to disaster

Michael Ruben Rinaldi - WorldSBK 2021.jpg

Michael Ruben Rinaldi marked his first home WorldSBK race as a factory Ducati rider with a spectacular victory in front of 5,000 fans at Misano, whle Jonathan Rea maintained his series lead after saving himself from a disastrous DNF with a spectacular save mid-way through the race.

A huge turnaround for Rinaldi at a crucial moment in his factory Ducati career, the young Italian came into the weekend needing a big result following an indifferent start to the year that raised questions as to whether he was ready for the controversial call up to replace Chaz Davies.

However, Rinaldi has gone a long way to redeeming himself at Misano thus far, topping two of the three practice sessions. While he could only manage fourth on the grid come Superpole, he was back to form come this afternoon's race, needing only a few corners to reassert his authority.

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Indeed, a quick start and aggressive first few turns allowed Rinaldi to snatch a lead he'd retain to the finish line, a success that marks his second career WorldSBK victory to go with his maiden triumph at Aragon in 2020.

In second place, Toprak Razgatlioglu couldn't live with the pace of Rinaldi and Rea in front, but capitalised on a rare error from Rea ahead to snatch second for Yamaha, his fifth podium seven races. Indeed, Rea was the only rider that could keep the in-form Rinaldi honest but while the Ulsterman wouldn't let his rival escape, he couldn't get close enough to attempt a pass for the lead.

Such was the pressure Rinaldi was placing the chasing Rea under, the six-time champion lost the front end of the Kawasaki at Turn 1, but remarkably managed to ride out the folding ZX-10RR and haul it back upright. Despite running off in recovery at Turn 2, Rea only lost a single place to keep his 100 per cent 2021 WorldSBK podium record intact.

Out-performed by Rea and team-mate Rinaldi, Scott Redding crossed the finish line some ten seconds adrift of the leaders in fourth place, ahead of Alex Lowes on the second of the works Kawasakis. They were followed by Alvaro Bautista on the best of the Honda CBR1000RR-Rs and unsung rookie hero Axel Bassani, who notched up his and Motocorsa Racing's best ever result yet in WorldSBK with seventh.

Tom Sykes led the BMW challenge in a modest eighth, ahead of Andrea Locatelli on the Pata Yamaha, while Michael van der Mark rounded out the top ten. 

Lucas Mahias couldn't capitalise on his strong grid position of seventh as he slipped to 11th, ahead of GRT duo Garrett Gerloff - who started from the pit lane - and Kohta Nozane. Leon Haslam and Tito Rabat completed the points' paying positions, with Davies the only retirement after a crash at Turn 4, while Eugene Laverty failed to start after his heavy crash in FP3.

2021 WorldSBK Misano | Race 1 Results

2021 WorldSBK Misano | Race 1 Results | Round 3 / 13
PosRiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbikeTiming
1Michael Ruben RinaldiESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R21 Laps
2Toprak RazgatliogluTURPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R1+3.657
3Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR+5.104
4Scott ReddingESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R+10.247
5Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasakI ZX-10RR+13.474
6Alvaro BautistaESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R+14.766
7Axel BassaniESPMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R+15.587
8Tom SykesGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR+16.694
9Andrea LocatelliITAPata Yamaha by BRIXXYamaha YZF-R1+23.612
10Michael van der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M1000RR+28.364
11Lucas MahiasESPKawasaki Puccetti RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+28.699
12Garrett GerloffESPGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1+31.757
13Kohta NozaneESPGRT Yamaha WorldSBKYamaha YZF-R1+35.395
14Leon HaslamESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R+35.603
15Tito RabatESPBarni Racing TeamDucati Panigale V4 R+38.211
16Jonas FolgerGERBonovo MGM ActionBMW M1000RR+38.372
17Isaac VinalesESPOrelac Racing VerdNatura KawasakI ZX-10RR+47.720
18Christophe PonssonESPAlstare YamahaYamaha YZF-R1+1m 06.736
19Samuele CavalieriESPTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+1m 11.688
20Loris CressonESPTPR Team Pedercini RacingKawasakI ZX-10RR+1m 14.491
DNFChaz DaviesGBRTeam GoElevenDucati Panigale V4 R 
 Eugene LavertyIRLRC Squadra CorseBMW M1000RRWithdrawn

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