Michael Ruben Rinaldi could not have started the second weekend of racing in Aragon in the morning in a better way. The Italian of the Go Eleven team was the fastest Ducati around the MotorLand circuit today: 1st in the morning and the same in the afternoon, with Rea behind him.
Already in the first round in Spain Rinaldi showed that he was close to the top SBK men and today he took a decisive step forward.
"Today was a perfect day, but it's only Friday - he said keeping his feet firmly on the ground - It's the first time we've been racing on the same track in just one week and I think my team worked really well to figure out what the points were where we had more difficulties in the last race and I must say that already this morning we improved a lot. We are not yet at 100% and we have to keep looking forward, today I am happy because it is also my first time in front of everyone after Friday practice ”.
In free practice, however, no points are awarded...
"Honestly, I always focus on myself without looking at the standings because the race is tomorrow - underlined Michael - The reality is that riders like Rea and Redding are always in front, we'll see what happens".
Rinaldi is focused on himself but he is also keeping a close eye on his opponents, those who have more experience and one in particular.
“In the second free practice session I did 15 laps with the same tyre and it didn't go badly. By chance I ran into Rea on the track and studied him - he reveals - I was on my tenth lap while he was on his sixteenth, I was faster than him but only because my tyres were less worn. "
This did not prevent him from trying to steal some secrets from the world champion.
“It was lucky for me to be able to watch him closely because I tried to learn some things and I think I can see what I have to work on - continues Michael - I didn't feel very strong in the last laps of my race simulation but I can improve. Surely seeing what Rea does can help me, but I have to follow my own path and my methods ”.
Obviously, the Ducati requires another riding style, but Rinaldi still treasured the lesson taught by the unwitting master.
"Jonathan rides in a different way and a different bike, but I tried to understand where he gains time compared to me to improve in those areas."
Photo courtesy of Prosecco DOC