Wet Imola, unlucky Imola. But Nolan Group riders hold on!
The Imola weekend, long awaited by all the fans, the first home race of the year in WorldSBK, unfortunately left a bitter taste in the mouth. The rider still achieved good results, no doubt about that, but so many disappointments too.
Injury for Leon Camier, who was unable to race in race 1, technical problems for Rinaldi, who had to change his strategy in qualifying, and Davies, who lost race 1 from which he started on pole. Also a missed victory for Federico Caricasulo in Supersport , whose motorbike turned off 2 times on the last lap while leading.
Despite all the issues out guys stayed strong, and kept their heads, but it wasn’t to be, as Race 2 was cancelled due to the weather. Frustrating, but we understand that safety is paramount, after all, it’s what we deal in!
Few weeks break now, ahead of Jerez we’ll be ready & waiting!
Marco Melandri Race1 SIXTH
“It was one more very difficult race, although not quite as difficult as qualifying. We made some changes to the bike for the race and that brought a small step forward, but it’s still not enough. I feel like I still can’t use the strongest points of my riding to my advantage at the moment, because I don’t have the best feeling with the bike. It’s not easy, but we continue to work to get better.”
Michael Ruben Rinaldi Race1 SEVENTH
“It was a really tough day for problems not dependent on my will. The fall in Superpole caused by a technical problem caused an inflammation to resurface in a herniated neck. Gritting my teeth I managed to get back on track for Superpole and then to compete in the race. Sorry because if it had been a normal weekend we could have been more competitive, this is still my best result of the season together with Thailand.”
Chaz Davies Superpola Race SECOND
“It’s a bit of a shame we never got the chance to do race 2 here at Imola but unfortunately in the wet this track has quite a few limits. Imola is not a normal circuit, and with these ups and downs you get a lot of standing water especially in the corners and these conditions meant that they had to cancel today’s race. It was the right decision, but I’m sorry for all the fans who stayed here in the rain all afternoon just to see us race. The positive thing is that we managed to do the sprint race, and judging by the result, it was a pity not to have been able to do the full-length second race. After a tough start to the season, I’m starting to see the light and my feeling with the Panigale V4 R is improving all the time. I go home from Imola knowing that I’ve made a lot of progress in view of the next races.”
Markus Reiterberger Race 1 TENTH
“I am really happy that we managed to improve on yesterday’s performance. We did a good job in Superpole to secure a starting position of seventh. It was a shame that I then lost a few places at the start and during the first few corners. I was stuck behind (Michael Ruben) Rinaldi for quite a while. I was faster, but I just couldn’t get past. However, I was able to overtake a few other riders towards the end and crossed the line in 10th place. That wasn’t quite the result we had hoped for but I am confident that I will continue to improve. We’ve still got a few issues to deal with at the moment but we will continue to work hard and I am very grateful to my team for that. Tomorrow is a new day that brings new opportunities and I hope that we can take another big step forward in the warm-up. Of course, we will have to keep an eye on the weather but I think that we can do a good job. We certainly have the potential to do that.”
Markus Reiterberger Superpole Race TENTH
“This morning’s warm-up was the first time that we had raced in the rain with the new RR. I had a pretty good feeling. The conditions were changeable for the Superpole race. It was mainly dry, with some wet spots and we took the risk to opt for the Supersoft tyre. Unfortunately, tyre wear was quite heavy towards the end but I managed to cross the line in tenth place. We had to wait a long time to find out whether we would have a second race or not. It would have been important for us to gain some experience in the rain but the decision to cancel made sense from the point of view of rider safety, as it was really at the limit. Overall, we learned a lot at Imola and we will check out a lot of things during testing to help us continue to make progress. Thanks to the team for their hard work. We will all work hard together to reap the benefits of this work.”
Federico Caricasulo SECOND
“On the last lap my bike switched off twice. The first time was through the variante alta and the second between Rivazza and the variante bassa. This is why I couldn’t stick with Randy and had to settle for second. My technicians are working on my bike to understand what happened. Without this problem I think Randy would have struggled to pass me, because I was pushing hard and there was probably nowhere for him to try and get by. But that’s how it went, and I can’t do anything about it. I’m disappointed about missing out on the win on the last lap, but luckily nothing is compromised and we’ll continue to work and give it our all to make up championship points. Thanks to my team for all their support.”