Victory is always a great satisfaction, but for Michael Ruben Rinaldi today’s triumph has an even more special flavor. The Romagna rider found his second world success on his home track, triumphing for the first time in front of his audience and with the official Ducati colors. On the Misano track, Rinaldi realizes the potential he already showed yesterday and flies by having the better of the great favorite Jonathan Rea, then third at the finish line.
Success comes after a difficult start to the season, in which he has often been questioned and criticized. But Rinaldi responded with today’s success, an incredible domain in which he really showed he has more than rivals: “I still have to metabolize this thing, but I couldn’t ask for more. I had the pace and thought I was going even faster, but then Jonathan made a mistake, I gained four seconds and tried to keep a good pace without pushing too hard to keep the gap. I’m really happy, because it’s my home race and this victory comes after a difficult start to the season. There was a lot of pressure on me also from the media, from social networks. People criticize Rossi and Marquez, who am I not to receive any criticism. I just tried to stay focused to have a good race here ”.
“This is a completely different victory from last year – says Rinaldi in reference to the success in Race 1 – because when you wear this suit you have to win. Sure it’s great, but it has to become a normal thing. I want to say one thing: I made the return flight from Estoril with Rea’s electronics and we talked. I told him I wanted to win when Johnny was on the track, because he’s fast and if you win without him it’s not the same. It’s nice to win with him on the track. The fact that he was close to me helped me to stay focused, because I do better under pressure. In the last nine laps I told myself not to think about anything, just to push but at 90%, because I still had a good margin. But mentally these last nine laps have been difficult ”.
The wide margin with which Rinaldi won Race 1 was also the result of the mistake of Jonathan Rea, author of a Marc Marquez save while he was following the Ducati rider. Yet the pressure of the reigning champion helped Rinaldi to keep an unreachable pace: “Honestly, I tried to take my step and when I saw him close I said to myself ‘I have to push, because if I push maybe he makes a mistake and not I have to fight with him on the last lap ‘. Because fighting with him on the last lap is really difficult. So I tried to use a good strategy that worked in the end. They told me he made an impossible save, but he is very talented, so I congratulate him. I also do them in Toprak, who was very strong at the beginning, but then I took my step ”.
So, with today’s triumph, Rinaldi proved to be the right choice for Ducati: “Honestly I think I do my best, if today I finished fifth and looked in the mirror, I would have been happy with myself because it would have been the best. what could I do. Of course people wouldn’t have been happy, but I have to be happy first of all. When you are satisfied with yourself, follow your goals, that’s fine. Because even in negative races, no one can believe in you as much as yourself, it is your dream, not that of others. Perfection does not exist, today we were close to that feeling. Maybe for tomorrow we are looking for something more for the end of the race, but it’s not that bad actually. We have a good team, a good bike and we can do a good job ”.