WorldSBK Catalunya Race 2: Rinaldi returns in Barcelona!

Michael Ruben Rinaldi won race two in Barcelona after a grand battle.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi has written off the doubters today winning race two in Barcelona to solidify himself within the Ducati team and back up Ducati’s decision to retain him for 2022 with Alvaro Bautista, he did a fantastic race battling his way past Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea to take victory.

The race started as you’d expect with Toprak Razgatlioglu battling for the lead on lap one going head to head with an aggressive Michael Ruben Rinaldi down in turn one with neither rider wanting to allow the other through, eventually Toprak would cut the nose off Rinaldi and blast his way out of turn two in the first position with Rea seeing the smallest of gaps left open by Rinaldi and taking his chances, firing his way through to take second place with Rinaldi snapping back at the next corner, the pair trading places again at the very next corner. Rea knew he had to stay with Toprak if he wanted to win the race making a move for the lead at turn 10 but failing to make it stick.

Ducati’s power would reign superior down the straights with Rinaldi disposing of both Rea and Toprak by lap 16 using his straight-line speed to put 0.5 seconds between himself and Razgatlioglu in second but the battle wasn’t over yet.

Further back Andrea Locatelli knew what he had to do as he caught up to Jonathan Rea, he had to take points away from Rea to ensure his teammate Toprak Razgatlioglu could gain as many points back to the Kawasaki man as possible, the worst Rea finished, the more points Razgatlioglu would have in advantage to Rea.

With just nine laps to go Locatelli would make his move past Rea and the pair would fight as hard as they could for the final podium spot bringing Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding into the mix as spectators. It would be Locatelli who would reign superior as Scott Redding saw his chance and made his way past the six-time champion as Rea’s bike struggled throughout the race eventually going wide at turn one in sixth place, from here Rea had to go into ‘damage limitation mode’ and stop himself from losing more and more points.

With seven laps to go Toprak Razgatlioglu would make his way past Michael Ruben Rinaldi for the race lead with Rinaldi sitting pretty in second place saving his tyres before making the move back on the Turkish rider for the win with just five laps to go, from here the Ducati man wouldn’t relinquish the lead again and came home to take victory whilst Razgatlioglu came into issues.

The Yamaha man’s tyres were gone, he’d used all his rubber on the warm Catalan circuit and was in panic mode losing over a second a lap to Scott Redding in third place, Redding was catching lap by lap and corner by corner but it wasn’t enough, one lap more and Redding would’ve handed Ducati a stunning 1-2 but instead Toprak just held onto the title lead by one point by finishing second, third place would’ve put Rea back on top by only 3 world championship points!

The battle for P4 continued on with Alvaro Bautista taking the P4 spot ahead of Andrea Locatelli, the pair battling graciously for the P4 spot with Locatelli has done a good job of defending this year with Rea in P6 ahead of Garrett Gerloff. Rounding out the top 10 were Axel Bassani, Michael van der Mark then Kohta Nozanne.

Full results – 

PositionRiderNationalityTeam
1Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba.It Ducati
2Toprak RazgatliogluTURBriXX Yamaha
3Scott ReddingGBRAruba.It Ducati
4Alvaro BautistaSPAHRC
5Andrea LocatelliITABriXX Yamaha
6Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing Team
7Garrett GerloffUSAGRT Yamaha
8Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa Ducati
9Michael van der MarkNEDBMW Racing
10Kohta Nozane JAPGRT Yamaha
11Leon HaslamGBRHRC
12Samuele CavalieriITABarni Ducati
13Christophe PonssonFRAGil Yamaha
14Leonardo MercadoARGMIE Honda
15Isaac VinalesSPAOrelac Racing
16Jonas FolgerGERBonovo BMW
OUTLoris CressonBELPedercini Kawasaki
OUTLachlan EpisAUSPedercini Kawasaki
OUTLucas MahiasFRAPuccetti Kawasaki
OUTTom SykesGBRBMW Racing
OUTChaz DaviesGBRGoEleven Ducati

Featured image – Ducati