Mixed feelings at Ducati: Redding with "the pace to win", Rinaldi "not so positive" at Assen

Monday, 26 July 2021 08:45 GMT

Both factory Ducati riders secured podiums during the Dutch Round but came out of the weekend with very different feelings

The Prosecco DOC Dutch Round provided plenty of positives for the Racing – Ducati outfit with the team taking three podiums at the TT Circuit Assen with Scott Redding taking second in both Race 1 and Race 2, and Michael Ruben Rinaldi claiming second in the Tissot Superpole Race as the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship returned to Assen for the first time since 2019.

Redding had to fight with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) for second place, with Redding, Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) with the trio separated by the smallest of margins throughout the first part of the 19-lap encounter, which was Red Flagged after a late crash for Jonas Folger (Bonovo MGM Action). As the race progressed, Razgatlioglu and Redding started battling, allowing Rea to pull away, with Redding eventually finishing second. In Race 2, Redding had to overhaul Andrea Locatelli (Pata Yamaha with BRIXX WorldSBK) after the Italian rider claimed the lead amid the Lap 1 incident, eventually being passed by both Rea and Redding.

Reacting to Race 2, where Redding was able to catch Locatelli for second but had Rea just out of reach, Redding said: “Maybe if I got the tyre to work four laps before, or maybe if I didn’t get stuck with Michael for a few laps, it would’ve been okay. I lost some laps because I didn’t want to force an overtake and start to fight and let the gap grow more because I knew I couldn’t force the front tyre, so I had to try and be a bit clever. That was it. I was quite happy. I was fast all weekend. I knew we had the pace to win. The tyres played a big part in decisions and as per usual, we find the right setup for the last race. It’s always two races too late.”

Rinaldi’s second place in the Tissot Superpole Race came despite crossing the line in fourth place. After being passed by Razgatlioglu and then Locatelli on the last lap, Rinaldi was promoted to third when Locatelli was deemed to have exceeded track limits on the final lap at Turn 18 and then again to second as Razgatlioglu committed the same offence at the same corner.

Rinaldi was “not so positive” following Sunday’s action at the Cathedral of Speed despite securing his first podium since Race 2 at Misano. He said: “It’s many races that we’ve struggled in, except Misano. We have the speed sometimes, like in the Superpole Race but only for the first part of the Superpole Race. I finished fourth. My opponents went on the green, so they got penalised, but I finished fourth. I could not be happy about this and especially in the afternoon, we know we struggle with the used tyre. I’m not so positive because we couldn’t find our way to win or to stay just there. We sometimes are good, I feel good with the bike and I’m there, and it makes me angry when it’s not like this I’m so far away and I don’t feel that slow. We will need to work harder than what we have. Everybody inside the team, and me, we are doing our best but our best at the moment is not enough.”

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