The first Superbike race of this Riviera di Rimini WorldSBK round was affected by a thunderstorm which meant that the start was delayed and then red-flagged just four laps after the lights went out due to the track conditions. The race was restarted a short time later but reduced to a distance of 18 laps.
Starting from 19th on the grid, Yuki Takahashi had already worked his way up to eleventh place before the race was interrupted. Re-starting from the fourth row (the grid established according to the positions the riders held at the time of the interruption), the rider fought hard in a group comprising fellow Honda rider Delbianco, Melandri, Cortese and Rinaldi. Despite the difficult conditions, and on and off rainfall, Takahashi ultimately crossed the finish line in a very positive eighth place.
Ryuichi Kiyonari finished inside the points zone, in fourteenth place, but it was a less than satisfactory result for him, as he was hoping for better feeling in the wet conditions and a better final race result.
Yuki Takahashi: “It was a good race for us as we were able to fight for a top ten position. Conditions were really tricky, and you had to ride as safely as possible but also fight as hard as possible! During the free practices we worked hard trying different settings in order to be as prepared as possible for this situation. The team did a very good job and I want to thank them for that. I’m very happy and hope we can continue in this way also tomorrow. At the same time, I’m sorry Leon (Camier) has had to miss this round and I hope to see him back in action very soon”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari: “I’m very disappointed because it was another difficult day for me. When we tested here three weeks ago, I had better feeling in both wet and the dry, but today I did not feel good in the rain. It was difficult for me to push so I tried to finish the race as well as possible and not crash the bike. At least we were able to gather some interesting data that will be useful in similar conditions in the future”.