Q: Are you satisfied with your performance over the weekend?
Rinaldi: “Overall, no. Because after the test, after the practice, I thought yesterday, second place, like today. But when the rain arrived, I said ‘Ok, this is a different race’ usually… I finish on the podium in Catalunya, sometimes first in practice when it’s wet, but the feeling in the rain yesterday was really bad. I tried many things, changed all the settings with the electronics, but didn’t have feeling with the bike. So yesterday after doing the race trying everything I could, I said ok it’s the first race, it’s bad that I start the season in this way, but I cannot control the weather. We need to understand why I don’t have this feeling with the bike, for the next races under water, and rain.
“But I could not do anything right now to improve my bike. For sure I was upset, for sure I was angry, really angry, because I knew my potential was second place here at Phillip Island, which is really good, because Alvaro is really strong. So today is a good day for me, I can confirm the speed of the test, I confirmed the speed that I felt on the bike. And that’s it. We need to improve also in different conditions, because the championship is not always sunny. So I need to improve there, and understand what wasn’t working.”
Q: How were your tyres in race two?
Rinaldi: “I looked when I was finished because I pushed a lot at the beginning to stay with Alvaro, I tried to use not too much, but when I saw at the finish line, I saw we were going too fast and knew from the test, that Alvaro is consuming less tyre than me. So he was saving the tyre, I was actually not. I saw that I was making a gap from the riders behind, so I said ok, if I can keep this pace till the last laps, it’s enough for me to get second. So this was my strategy, until lap 15-16, I was 4.6 seconds from third, for the last six laps I focused on control, because the bike was moving a lot and I said ok we’ll finish third like this. And I don’t care about if they catch me. It was good.”
Rinaldi: “I’m really happy about the work that Ducati is doing in MotoGP and Superbike, but I think Toprak, Lowes they crashed, you take these two out and it’s not the true story. For sure, we see that with the tyre, Ducati is not bad. The opposite side is that when there’s a lot of grip we are struggling a little bit, so everybody has his card, and maybe this track helps us a little bit to work better with the tyre.”
Q: You mentioned weather performance, any indications how you’ll fix that, next weekend is Indonesia. If Phillip Island is changeable, Indonesia is next level when it comes to rain…
Rinaldi: “For sure I think we’ll have some rain practice in Indonesia, but it’s a different track, different surface, and I think there’s more grip and it’ll be a different story. I said to my manager, buy me a super motard so I can train in the wet condition, so I will train more in the rain, but it’s different, because as I said before it’s not that I’m slow in the rain, it’s understanding why I felt that bad yesterday and trying to not go more in that way. Also for settings of the bike, we need to try to understand, maybe it was the tyre temperature, maybe the setting, we need to check better. And when we understand, we’ll fix it.”
Rinaldi: “Well I spoke with my trainer, and he said to me, we improved a lot *demonstrates how much*, but still have this *gestures bigger* to improve. This would be the best version of me. So I think for sure in these moments I sacrifice a lot, no more partying, no more staying out late, I am in bed at 10, always. Anyway I go to sleep, I wake up, this is my life now, so I sacrifice this and yesterday I was upset, I changed a lot of my team, finished 14th, 55s back, I say fuck… why. But this morning, I trained, I followed the plan and that’s it. Today is a good day for me.”
Q: What is the secret of this Ducati?
Rinaldi: “I know, this is because we are working in the correct way, working in a different way. You cannot complain to Ducati that we are working better, than the others. This is superbike vs a superbike, and we are just working better, in Borgo Panigale they are working better. It’s not that big a difference you see because for sure, this is a special track and we’ll go to Indonesia and not be so easy there. I think we are working good, like Kawasaki did for six years in the past, like Toprak has done when he was world champion, but it’s not fair to say it’s only the bike. Because you know yesterday there was three different bikes on the podium, today we showed that we were strong, but there are riders, it’s not just the bikes. So I think we are strong, but we are all fighting with the same weapons.”
Q: What are the main difference between you and Bautista in the dry?
Rinaldi: “I didn’t check his set-up, but the difference is not that big. The thing is that he is riding fast, sometimes the same time as me, but he is saving more tyre. That gives him a little bit more margin that if he needs he has. Also in the race, when we were doing lap times, they were same, I was at 100 per cent and he was 95 per cent, and he said ok’ this pace for me is ok, because nobody is at this pace and if you want to follow me you’ll finish the tyre’. So I think I have to improve a little bit, because he is the world champion, he is so fast on this bike, and I’m not at his level yet, but I think time will give me the confidence and the knowledge to get there.”
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