Michael Rinaldi won FIM Superbike World Championship Race One Saturday at MotorLand Aragon, in Spain. Riding his Aruba.it Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R, the Italian won the 18-lap race by 1.253 seconds.
Pata Yamaha Prometeon rider Toprak Razgatlioglu was the runner-up, and Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea was a very close third.
American Garrett Gerloff finished eighth overall and as the top BMW rider on his Bonovo Action M 1000 RR.
Rinaldi’s teammate Alvaro Bautista, the defending World Champion and current Championship point leader, crashed and Did Not Finish (DNF).
More, from a press release issued by Dorna:
Bautista’s misfortune opens title race as Rinaldi seizes victory in Aragon showdown
WorldSBK Race 1 at Aragon was a rollercoaster of emotions, featuring the triumph of Michael Ruben Rinaldi and the unraveling of Alvaro Bautista’s Championship challenge.
At the forefront of the action, Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) ended a two-year drought with a resounding victory, showcasing his unwavering determination. Hot on Rinaldi’s heels, Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) secured second place, closing the gap on Championship leader Alvaro Bautista to 37 points.
The day wasn’t without its twists and turns, as Alvaro Bautista, the Championship leader, endured a disastrous outing. Bautista crashed twice during the race, once from the lead, and again on the final lap when he was poised to score points. These crashes significantly dented his championship campaign, adding an unexpected layer of drama to the season.
Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) claimed the final podium spot. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) put in a solid performance, clinching fourth place. One of the race’s most remarkable stories unfolded with Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) starting from 24th on the grid to secure an astounding fifth place. Closing out the top six was Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven).
Rinaldi marked an emphatic return to the winner’s circle, ending his two-year victory drought in style.
P1 | Michael Ruben Rinaldi | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“It’s incredible! At Aragon, strange things happen, I had my first race win here and then this victory today is one of my best, as I fought! It was a race where I had to manage the tyre and think a lot. There’s been some really dark moments this year but this is the best road to come back. I decided to not give up and here I am, really happy and enjoying this moment.
I think that the problem for them was at the beginning of the race; I was lapping in the 1’50s but they went away, and I think they were using too much tyre, so at the end, it was the key as I was able to catch them. It’s what I thought at the beginning of the race. I’m sorry for Alvaro’s crash and I’m sure his pace was even better, but I took the opportunity and won the race. These things happen and I wish him the best for tomorrow. My target is to always be there fighting for the victory and we’ll see tomorrow if we can repeat it with Alvaro.”