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10/16/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/16/2021 15:27

Rinaldi back on the rostrum for Ducati’s 980th podium place

A tenth career podium for Michael Ruben Rinaldi and he vows to do plenty more on Sunday…

The 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship sparked into life for Race 1 of the Motul Argentinean Round at the Circuito San Juan Villicum, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) taking victory. However, there was a charge behind as Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) found good form in Race 1 to come from ninth on the grid to finish third in San Juan, the tenth podium of his WorldSBK career as well as Ducati's 980th podium place.

Starting from ninth on the grid, it wasn't going to be easy, but Rinaldi got a good start and slowly but surely let the race come to him. On Lap 12, having run fifth for the majority of the early stages of the race, Rinaldi made his move on Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) for fourth, before getting ahead of fellow Ducati rider Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) in third. Rinaldi then matched the pace of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) ahead of him, before finishing third. The Italian, now with ten career podiums, is the clear leader in the battle for fourth overall in the title race, eight points ahead of Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK).

Talking about the race and his comeback from the third row of the grid to the third place on the podium, Rinaldi said: "Actually, I am happy about the race but I'm not so happy about the day because we made a mistake in the Superpole session and started from the third row, so already the race is a fight. I was able to do a good start but on the first lap, I didn't have the pace, so I said 'OK, breathe, I have the pace and it will come'. So, after I get the pace on, I pass some riders. I got third, but since then, I stayed there from that lap until the end, so our pace was good."

Talking about the Superpole Race and trying to improve his grid slot, Rinaldi said: "I will put one Superpole lap but for all of the ten laps to try and start in front! Everybody will be aggressive, but now, I think the level is so high, so everyone is clean and fighting. I hope we can enjoy and start from a better position."

Rinaldi's podium is an important one, as he gives Ducati their 980th podium place, as well as his tenth podium - all of which have been for the Bologna manufacturer. He is the 24th rider to achieve ten podiums with Ducati, level with Sylvain Guintoli. He is the sixth Italian rider with at least ten podiums for Ducati. It's the seventh consecutive race that has featured a Ducati on the podium.

Watch the 2021 World Superbike title race with the comprehensive WorldSBK VideoPass!