The factory Ducati rider, competing close to his home, took two podiums and will hope this provides a springboard for the rest of the season
It was a good weekend for home hero Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) as he claimed two podiums at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” for the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round, the venue for the fourth round of the 2022 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season. It marked the first time Rinaldi scored podiums this season after a difficult start to the campaign for the Italian but will be hoping he can use his success from Misano as a springboard for the rest of the 2022 season.
In Race 1 on Saturday, Rinaldi battled from fifth on the grid and moved into the podium positions when Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) retired from the race with a technical problem. In the Superpole Race, Rinaldi was unable to repeat his podium success from Race 1 as he dropped down the order, finishing in 10th place where he would start for Race 2. This didn’t hamper his podium aspirations too much, though, with the Italian up to fifth at the end of the opening lap of Race 2, fourth on Lap 2 and in a podium position on Lap 3 after passing Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) at Turn 10.
He was then able to close the gap to teammate Alvaro Bautista and Razgatlioglu at the front of the field, first pressuring Bautista for second place before the Spanish rider overtook Razgatlioglu, and then putting pressure on the reigning Champion. Although he was unable to make the move for second place, Rinaldi came home in third for this second podium of the season and his fifth on home soil at Misano after he took three in 2021 including two wins.
Speaking in his media debrief after the round, Rinaldi said: “For sure I’m really happy. I was a bit upset this morning because my pace on used tyres was good in Warm Up but then in the Superpole Race, something was wrong with the bike and I rode one second slower than in Warm-Up. We decided to make a strategy to push like hell in the beginning and see what happens. When it was like the seventh lap, I was finished, I didn’t have more energy. I had to focus and relax to do my pace and I did it, it was unbelievable. We made a good improvement compared to the first rounds. I can be proud and happy, but I think we need a few more races to always be there. We are on our way to more good races. I’m really happy and I want to dedicate this to all the fans, the Italian crowd and my family. I felt I had to give them something!”
Watch the 2022 season unfold in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!