It was a dramatic weekend of action in Italy and the biggest crowd of the season so far were on hand to enjoy the action
The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship visited the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna and spectators attended in their thousands to make it the best-attended event of the 2022 season so far, with almost 66,000 spectators attending across the three days, with numbers similar to those of previous years at the iconic Italian venue.
Across all three days, 65,825 spectators visited Misano for an incredible weekend of action with Ducati scoring two wins in WorldSBK, in Race 1 and Race 2, thanks to Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) while his teammate, Michael Ruben Rinaldi, scored a pair of third-place finishes on home soil. Reigning Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) also claimed his first victory of the season in the Tissot Superpole Race, highlighting a dramatic weekend of action.
The number of spectators remains around the same as pre-pandemic visits to the Adriatic Coast. In 2017, 68,154 people visited Misano for WorldSBK, 68,697 visited in 2018 and 70,447 visited in 2019. In 2021, attendance was 11,257 although this year had restrictions in place due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, with the paddock facing restrictions. With the paddock once again opened up to spectators, the almost 66,000 people in attendance were able to take advantage of a whole host of benefits inside and outside the paddock.
Spectators who attend WorldSBK events are able to access the paddock and get close to teams and riders throughout the weekend including access to the Paddock Show, featuring a full schedule of events, and Parc Ferme, where podium celebrations take place in WorldSBK; shown by Rinaldi throwing his s helmet to the large crowd right by the podium. Pit lane walks are also available to spectators to get closer than ever to the action and see inside a working garage.
There are also incredible innovations such as the Motul Action Box, where spectators can feel the experience of being part of a team inside the box, and the Motul Pit Wall Canopy which allows spectators aged 18 or older to watch the race from the pitwall, giving a unique experience to watching the action on track. The Technical Bay is also open to fans, allowing them to get even closer to the bikes and view the technology in all its glory. The Fan Zone, featuring cars on display from Hyundai, the Pirelli workshop to see how tyres are worked on, a Prosecco tasting area and the merchandising area.
Gregorio Lavilla, WorldSBK Executive Director, said: “Races in Misano always have a special taste as it is an historical circuit. The incredible number of fans attending is a powerful boost in confidence. Here in the riders’ land, passion for racing is linked to a cultural heritage and celebrating together also the circuit 50 years is more significant. We are happy and proud for this amazing show”.
Andrea Albani, Managing Director at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli”, added: “Of course, we are very satisfied as WorldSBK is heritage for the territory and the circuit and, this weekend, passed 60 WorldSBK races held. It is on the world podium for this very exciting World Championship. We are very close to the era 'pre-Covid' numbers and it is a good sign for motorsport. The facility has grown with further spaces available. For this weekend, we had a very good result, a positive aspect also in terms of the economic system for Riviera di Rimini and the San Marino Republic.”
Double podium finisher Rinaldi, after the weekend’s action concluded, said: "I can be proud and happy, but I think we need a few more races to always be there. I’m really happy and I want to dedicate this to all the fans, the Italian crowd and my family. I felt I had to give them something!”
Bautista, who claimed two victories for Ducati on the Bologna manufacturer’s home soil, said immediately after his Race 1 victory: “I won here in front of all the Ducati fans. I'm so happy to come back to Ducati and win here in Misano.”
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