Rinaldi: "It’s unbelievable… I cannot be happier about this improvement!"
After taking his first podium of the 2022 season, Rinaldi was overjoyed as he discussed his first visit to the rostrum visit this season
Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati) claimed his first MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship podium of the 2022 season in Race 1 at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” after claiming third place during the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round. Third for Rinaldi marked his best result of the 2022 season so far as he looks to move up the Championship standings.
Rinaldi secured fifth in the Tissot Superpole session on Saturday morning, his second best Superpole result of the season, to set himself up for a good result in Race 1 at the venue he claimed two wins at in 2021; which were also his first podiums of the 2021 season. Looking to repeat this success, Rinaldi hoped to get a good start from the second row to put himself in the best possible position for the 21-lap race.
By the end of Lap 1, the Italian moved up to fourth place and set his sights on the three riders in front of him but soon found himself demoted to fifth place when Independent Ducati rider Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) fought his way past the factory Ducati rider. Initially making a gap to Rinaldi, Bassani remained in fourth until Lap 12 when Rinaldi found a way to pass Bassani again.
Rinaldi spent two laps in fourth place before being promoted to third place when Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha with Brixx WorldSBK) retired from the race with a technical problem at the end of Lap 14, with Rinaldi finishing eight seconds down on teammate Alvaro Bautista and three behind Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) as he secured his first rostrum visit of this season.
Discussing his first podium of the season, Rinaldi said: “I’m really happy about this race because, in front of this crowd, it’s unbelievable. Also, to look at myself, we improved a lot since the last rounds. I was able to make a good pace for all 21 laps so really proud of that. For sure, we are missing something, because Alvaro is making a difference, but I cannot be happier about this improvement. I didn’t make a very good start and also my pace at the beginning wasn’t good. I said to myself ‘you need to stay calm; you need to save tyres and then you have to stabilize your pace’. It paid off because, in the end, I was really fast. We were also the brain in this race!”
Can Rinaldi repeat his podium success on Sunday? Watch the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2 in style using the WorldSBK VideoPass!