Topping both sessions in Teruel, Rinaldi looks set for a career-first podium this weekend, something double WorldSBK Champion Max Biaggi predicted in advance
The 2020 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship is giving surprises and headline stories at each and every round but one of the constant revelations is Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN). The Italian star has been nothing short of impressive in his second full season of action and has taken the GOELEVEN Ducati squad to new heights. Topping both sessions on Friday and continuing to seek out a first podium, Rinaldi has captured the attention of WorldSBK royalty in the form of double World Superbike Champion Max Biaggi.
‘The Roman Emperor’ was the last Italian rider to take a WorldSBK Championship and he spoke about how brilliant it is to see another Italian rider on an Italian bike at the sharp end. Beginning, Biaggi stated: “It’s really good to see another Italian running up at the front and he is clearly with a good team. We will see what he can do; I think now, it’s a bit easier because you don’t have the pressure from the factory or main sponsors, as you’re riding in a satellite team and it looks a lot simpler.”
Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri are the two most successful Italian riders in WorldSBK in the last decade, but both came from the MotoGP™ paddock. The last Italian to rise through the ranks of WorldSBK and take victory was Michel Fabrizio, who won races in 2009 and 2010. Davide Giugliano, Ayrton Badovini and Lorenzo Lanzi have all taken podiums in the last decade but perhaps now, a new star is born in the form of Rinaldi.
Continuing to shower praise on Rinaldi and speaking of his potential podium pace, Biaggi said: “However, being in a satellite team can be good to help his confidence and again, it’s good to see another Italian guy at the front. For next year, I think he will have a more important goal and I think for sure, he will achieve a podium before the end of the year.”
Enjoy the inaugural Pirelli Teruel Round and find out if Rinaldi can achieve the anticipated first podium of his career with the WorldSBK VideoPass!