Misano WSBK: Ducati's Rinaldi scores impressive home victory

Michael Ruben Rinaldi claimed his maiden victory as a factory Ducati rider at his home turf in Misano, as reigning World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea survived a major moment to finish third.

Rinaldi made a brilliant getaway from fifth on the grid to take an early lead into Turn 2, before coming on top in a thrilling scrap with both Rea and Yamaha’s Toprak Razgatlioglu later on the opening lap to reinstate his position at the head of the field. 

Rea, who lost multiple places in the opening sequence of corners after starting from pole, quickly recovered lost ground to put himself right on the tail of Rinaldi’s Ducati.

As the race progressed, the two started pulling away from the rest of the field, building a buffer of several seconds over the battling duo of Scott Redding and Razgatlioglu.

Rea managed to keep the pressure on Rinaldi but wasn’t able to close the gap enough to make a move, the Italian doing enough to hold onto the lead.

After slipping more than half a second behind Rinaldi on lap 9, Rea made a rare mistake at the start of the next tour, nearly falling off his Kawasaki at the exit of Turn 1.

The six-time champion managed to remain on his bike in an incredible save but ran well off the track, allowing Razgatlioglu to come through and take second.

With Rea out of the picture, Rinaldi cruised to a first victory of 2021, and the second of his WSBK career following his Aragon success last year with the GoEleven satellite team, taking the chequered flag by a winning margin of 3.6s.

Razgatlioglu secured his fourth consecutive podium of 2021 in second, while Rea had to settle for third after his off-track excursion on lap 10.

Redding held third position in the early laps of the race but ran wide at Turn 4 on lap 5, and was unable to take advantage of his title rival Rea’s troubles, ending up fourth at the finish.

Alex Lowes had a lonely race on the second of the factory Kawasakis, finishing 13s off the lead in fifth, as both Honda’s Alvaro Bautista and Motocorsa Ducati rider Axel Bassani demoted the BMW of Tom Sykes in the closing laps to take sixth and seventh respectively.

New Yamaha recruit Andrea Locatelli finished ninth behind 2013 champion Sykes, while Michael van der Mark completed the top 10 on the second of the BMWs.

GRT Yamaha’s Garrett Gerloff rose up the order to finish 12th behind Puccetti Kawasaki’s Lucas Mahias, having been forced to start from the pitlane after crashing out in qualifying and not setting a timed lap.

Honda’s Leon Haslam and MotoGP convert Tito Rabat (Barni Ducati) picked the final points in 14th and 15th respectively.

Chaz Davies was the only non-finisher in the race, the GoEleven rider suffering a crash at Turn 4 while running inside the top 10.

Race 1 results:

Cla # Rider Bike Laps Gap
1 21 Italy Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Ducati 21
2 54 Turkey Toprak Razgatlioglu
Yamaha 21 3.657
3 1 United Kingdom Jonathan Rea
Kawasaki 21 5.104
4 45 United Kingdom Scott Redding
Ducati 21 10.247
5 22 United Kingdom Alex Lowes
Kawasaki 21 13.474
6 19 Spain Alvaro Bautista
Honda 21 14.766
7 47 Italy Axel Bassani
Ducati 21 15.587
8 66 United Kingdom Tom Sykes
BMW 21 16.694
9 55 Italy Andrea Locatelli
Yamaha 21 23.612
10 60 Netherlands Michael van der Mark
BMW 21 28.364
11 44 France Lucas Mahias
Kawasaki 21 28.699
12 31 United States Garrett Gerloff
Yamaha 21 31.757
13 3 Japan Kohta Nozane
Yamaha 21 35.395
14 91 United Kingdom Leon Haslam
Honda 21 35.603
15 53 Spain Tito Rabat
Ducati 21 38.211
16 94 Germany Jonas Folger
BMW 21 38.372
17 32 Spain Isaac Viñales
Kawasaki 21 47.720
18 23 France Christophe Ponsson
Yamaha 21 1'06.736
19 76 Italy Samuele Cavalieri
Kawasaki 21 1'11.668
20 84 Belgium Loris Cresson
Kawasaki 21 1'14.491
7 United Kingdom Chaz Davies
Ducati 14
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