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).
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.”
DNF | Alvaro Bautista | Aruba.it Racing – Ducati
“I can’t say it’s a happy day, but these things are part of the game and can happen. It was a pity. It was 100% my mistake. I just threw away a race that I was enjoying a lot. The feeling with the bike was good and I was feeling good. I was pushing a lot. I just lost the front a little bit more than other laps in that corner and I couldn’t save the crash. This is racing and it can happen. Last time, we had a problem with the motorbike. This time, I made a mistake. We have to reset to understand why I crashed. In any case, I’m sorry for my team because they worked really hard and also Ducati and the sponsors. It’s part of the game. We know we are competitive and fast so we just have to not make more mistakes. I cannot believe that, at 38 years old, I can make this kind of mistake, but it’s part of racing. The important thing is to learn and try to be a better rider tomorrow.”
WorldSBK Race 1 Results
1. Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati)
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +1.253s
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +2.837s
4. Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) +5.902s
5. Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team) +7.553s
6. Philipp Oettl (Team GoEleven) +14.427s
WorldSBK Championship standings
1. Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) 467 points
2. Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha Prometeon WorldSBK) 430 points
3. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) 306 points