Rinaldi “sucked in” by Toprak slipstream, “every weekend there’s something…”

Michael Ruben Rinaldi says his mistake at the Misano WorldSBK round in Race 2 was due to carrying too much speed in the slipstream of Toprak Razgatlioglu.
Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha, Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati WorldSBK Misano 2023
Toprak Razgatlioglu Yamaha, Michael Ruben Rinaldi Ducati WorldSBK Misano…

On course for three podiums from three at his home round, Rinaldi instead suffered a dramatic crash in Race 1 after clipping the rear of the 2021 WorldSBK champion. 

Rinaldi held a comfortable margin over the Yamaha rider for much of the race, but as Razgatlioglu grew stronger and Rinaldi’s pace slowed slightly, an overtake from the Turkish star was made.

Rinaldi was keen to fight back though, and after getting a good exit coming out of the final corner, the factory Ducati rider gave himself the opportunity to attack Razgatlioglu in turn one.

But after seeing Razgatlioglu brake very late, Rinaldi got caught carrying too much speed in his slipstream, as he instead hit the rear of Razgatlioglu’s M1 before crashing out. 

Rinaldi said: "Toprak overtook me and I saw on the board that I have eight seconds to Bassani so I said, ‘OK, if it goes wrong, I’ll arrive in third, no problem’. Then we arrived at Turn 1 and for me, it was the first time behind a rider. 

"I broke at the same point as the lap before where I had no slipstream. But Toprak’s slipstream sucked me in; I was fast and Toprak brakes late, but when he brakes late, the bike stops a lot. 

"I didn’t expect either of these things, so my speed was too high and if I went to the inside, maybe I’ll take him out, so I tried to go long, but unfortunately the front tyre touched his rear tyre. 

"It was really unlucky, I didn’t want to overtake Toprak or make a mistake, just do the same thing as the laps before, but with the slipstream, everything changed. 

"After a strong weekend, it’s the worst way to end; it sucks. Every weekend, there’s something. 

"At Phillip Island for example, two podiums on Sunday but rain on Saturday. I’m sad, because Race 2 was a podium 100%. 

"It’s racing; it’s easy to give up but I won’t, and at Donington Park, I will have more hunger than here and we’ll prove that we can stay there. For sure, my potential is higher than my position in the Championship, but I’ve made mistakes."

Razgatlioglu “lucky” not to crash out

Toprak Razgatlioglu , Emilia-Romagna WorldSBK, 4 June
Toprak Razgatlioglu , Emilia-Romagna WorldSBK, 4 June

While Rinaldi suffered the unfortunate fate of crashing out of the race, Razgatlioglu was unaffected by the contact as he came home with his second P2 finish of the day.

And although it was another strong weekend for the Yamaha rider, it was equally as frustrating as he again played second best to Alvaro Bautista.

"I finished in second but I am sorry for Michael, as he crashed at Turn 1," added Razgatlioglu. "I am lucky as I felt him, but I didn’t crash. I tried hard braking into Turn 1 as I know the Ducati is very strong on the straight and I tried to stop more before leaning more. 

"Maybe he didn’t understand and tried to enter faster and made a mistake. I don’t know. 

"I am happy because I managed to get three podiums, one third place and two second places. It was bad luck in the Superpole Race, because I felt I could win as the level is similar. 

"To finish the weekend, we didn’t crash and took points but not important points as the gap is very bag."

Read More