Two Ducati teams were able to kick-start their testing programme for 2021 with a single day of running in Italy
Preparations are well underway for the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship with teams and riders looking to complete test days to understand their machinery. This continued at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” on Thursday as Tito Rabat (Barni Racing) made his WorldSBK on-track debut throughout the test as he took to the track alongside ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati duo Scott Redding and Michael Ruben Rinaldi.
The Emilia-Romagna circuit situated in northeast Italy hosted the test for the trio of riders as they all took to their Ducati Panigale V4 R machines as they ramped up their preparations for the 2021 season. For Rabat, it was his first chance to get on the machine he will use throughout 2021 as the 2014 Moto2™ World Champion steps across from MotoGP™ to WorldSBK.
The start of the day’s action was delayed due to foggy weather in Italy but soon it cleared up and all three took to the track as they completed laps of the 4.226km-long circuit that winds through the Rimini province on the northeast coast of Italy. As the weather cleared up, Rabat was able to take to the track for the first time as a WorldSBK rider as he got to grips with his new machine. Rabat completed almost 70 laps on his first outing for Barni as he looked to get to know his new team.
Discussing his first day, Rabat said: “My first impression with the new team and the new bike is quite positive. To be honest - despite weather conditions - today I enjoyed riding a lot and trying a few things on the saddle. I can discover a little bit how the Ducati Panigale V4 R works, where is my limit from the first day and where I can start to work. They're quite happy after the first day. I'm looking forward to the future and to the next test for us to keep improving, because I saw that we can be competitive.”
Rinaldi, who was on a factory Ducati for the first time in his native Italy, completed 52 laps as he got acquainted with his new team, following his switch to the factory team following a breakthrough, race-winning, 2020 campaign. It was the second time he had tested for ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati following a test at Estoril at the end of the 2020 season and the Italian will be looking to build on his strong 2020 campaign as he moves to the factory Ducati seat.
He was joined on track by teammate Redding, with the 2020 Championship runner-up completing 72 laps across the day. The British rider had taken to the track at both Cartagena and Jerez in recent weeks on a Ducati Panigale V4S but was on his race bike for the first time in 2021. Having pushed Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) all the way in 2020, Redding will be looking to deny Rea title number seven in 2021.
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