The second round of the 2021 WorldSBK season starts offering positive feelings to the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team. Both Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi work hard in the free practices and in the afternoon they manage to significantly improve the lap times set in the morning, to finish respectively in second and fifth position in the combined standings.
Solid session for Scott Redding who laps with an extremely incisive pace. With the same tire, the English rider completes a race simulation (23 laps against the 21 scheduled) remaining at the top of the provisional standings for a long time before the last run in which all the direct opponents take to the track with the new tire.
Michael Rinaldi starts FP1 with determination but the feeling is not the best yet and the soft tire put in the last part of the session does not give any advantage in terms of lap time, too
- FP1 Standings
P1 – T. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) 1’36.920
P2 – J. Rea (Kawasaki) + 0.581
P3 – A. Lowes (Kawasaki) + 0.684
P4 – S. Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) + 0.704
P5 – E. Laverty (BMW) + 0.933
P10 – M. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) + 1.326
After the convincing FP1, also in FP2 Scott Redding takes the track for a second race simulation with the same tire, confirming the positive feelings of the morning. At the end of the session, the English rider tries a time attack with the soft tire but the red flag at 3 minutes to go does not allow him to find the ideal conditions.
Michael Rinaldi’s growth seems to be constant. The Italian rider works with his team on the set up of the Ducati Panigale V4 R and in the second session the feeling grows in a tangible way allowing him in the final run to close with the third time.
- FP1/FP2 Combined Standings
P1 – T. Razgatlioglu (Yamaha) + 1’36.920
P2 – S. Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) + 0.414
P3 – J. Rea (Kawasaki) + 0.581
P4 – A. Lowes (Kawasaki) + 0.684
P5 – M. Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) + 0.895
Scott Redding (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #45)
“In the afternoon we tried the soft tires and the feeling was not bad. I still cannot say for sure what my choice will be for the race but in these two sessions, we have collected very important data. In any case, I’m confident to have a good race tomorrow because last year, despite the problems in qualifying and in Race-1, I felt very comfortable on this track. It’s clear that it will be important to do a good qualifying session to start in the front”.
Michael Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #21)
“We arrive in Portugal after the difficult weekend in Aragon. Since FP1, therefore, our approach has been different: we tried to learn from last week’s mistakes and I think this day has been positive. The third place in FP2 and the fifth in the combined standings are two encouraging results, especially on this track that I don’t consider one of my favorites. We still have FP3 to work on but I’m confident that we can do a good result in the race”.