Scott Redding and Toprak Razgatlioglu weren’t the only WorldSBK riders to be involved in a heated battle during race one as Michael Ruben Rinaldi took aim at Andrea Locatelli after the Pata Yamaha rider’s aggressive first lap overtake.
After making a promising start that led to him challenging Jonathan Rea into turn one, Rinaldi was then unceremoniously pushed out of contention when Locatelli made a very aggressive overtake at turn two.
Trying to slide up the inside of the Ducati rider between turns one and two, Locatelli ran into the corner with too much speed, thus making Rinaldi pick up his Panigale V4 R and run wide.
Locatelli, who was then out of control heading into turn four as he ran through the gravel, dropped back down to sixth position. However, the damage was already done for Rinaldi who was now eighth after starting third.
“I can say that it was not a good race for me. Turn two on the first lap, I think Locatelli forced too much the manoeuvre and took me off. I lost a lot of positions,” Rinaldi told WorldSBK.com.
“But then I started again, but I lost a little bit of confidence because I was already angry for the overtake he made into me.
“I wasn’t feeling good with the bike as well, so the first part was really, really bad for me. Then I found a little bit of a better rhythm but it was too late. I don’t want to say anything more.”
However, that’s precisely what Rinaldi did when discussing Locatelli’s bizarre sighting lap incident.
The Pata Yamaha rider failed to get his R1 stopped heading into turn one as he nearly collected Rinaldi, but also championship contenders Razgatlioglu and Rea.
Rinaldi added: “I think race direction may take some direction. You cannot do things like this especially on the sighting lap. I don’t want to complain because I’m not the [type of rider] that complains. But I think that sometimes people don’t use their brain.”
Sensational Bautista takes advantage of Razgatlioglu, Rea ‘struggling’ when rain began to fall
While it was a bad day at the office for Rinaldi, the other side of the Aruba.it Ducati garage enjoyed pure delight with Bautista winning his seventh race of the season.
The victory not only resulted in Bautista extending his championship lead to 29 points, but the Spaniard became the rider to claim Ducati’s 1000th podium in WorldSBK.
“I knew that here it was important to not lose time in the first corners because here with this rear tyre, with the harder compound, I struggled a little bit,” said Bautista.
“I needed a couple of laps to warm it and after that I could make the same pace as Rea and Razgatlioglu. By mid-race, some drops of rain started to fall. It was a tricky moment.
“I saw that Rea and Razgatlioglu struggled. But in that moment, I felt quite confident, so I decided to take the lead.
“When the rain stopped, I tried to keep pushing and not make a mistake. I’m really happy because it’s the 1000th podium for Ducati and to celebrate it with a victory is very special.”