The opening day of World Superbike testing at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli came to a conclusion with excellent sensations for Michael Ruben Rinaldi. In fact, on his very first official outing of the year with the Panigale V4R, the new Aruba.it Racing-Ducati rider finished the practice session in third position with a time of 1'34.605, just a couple of tenths away from teammate Scott Redding.
"I'm very happy, in a factory team you have so many things to try. It's a job that I had never done before, but we followed a workplan and we respected it, without looking for fast lap times - he specified - the races will be in two months’ time and those riders who worked well in winter will be better off, not those who set the fastest lap. I'm satisfied, today's bike was the 2020. There are some differences compared to the 2019 that we can take advantage of, but I have to improve with this package ".
Coming off the back of a positive experience in the Go Eleven Team, the man from Rimini focused on the main strengths of the 2020-spec Panigale V4R compared to the one he used up to the previous season.
"The bike of a private team remains unchanged throughout the year, usually you don’t get any updates. The difference is that you have to do a job that I had never done before. The environment is great, I feel good - he said - between the bikes, the 2020 has more grip than the 2019. I still have to understand how to use it, at the moment I'm struggling physically. It was only the first day, while last year we had twelve races to develop it to the maximum. The margin of improvement of the 2020 is wide, we lapped just one tenth off the best time obtained with the 2019. In Barcelona we will have more material. In any case they will wait for my indications after this test ".
At the same time, Michael Ruben Rinaldi's style appeared very similar to that of Alvaro Bautista. Despite his move to Honda HRC, the 25-year-old is taking advantage of the opportunity to make
"I have my own way of riding, it’s a bit like Bautista's, so it's normal to look at his data. This year I have some material that Alvaro didn't have, I'm making my own way with it. Obviously the 2020 bike was built on the indications of Chaz Davies and Scott Redding, two riders bigger and heavier than me. But I immediately found a good feeling. The base is already excellent and you just need to make the last 20% tailor-made for yourself ", he concluded.