Rinaldi on the 2023 title fight: "At the moment, I am the lion that is chasing the gazelle!"

Thursday, 16 March 2023 12:54 GMT

Michael Ruben Rinaldi has made no secret of his desire to fight for the 2023 title but currently sits 67 points down on his teammate…

With the 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship in full swing and two rounds already in the history books, eyes are turning to the European rounds getting underway in April. Michael Ruben Rinaldi ( Racing – Ducati) was at the presentation of the Emilia-Romagna Round at the Misano World Circuit “Marco Simoncelli” to discuss the title fight in 2023, his ambitions for the year ahead and how there’s a new version of himself on the bike and off the track this season.

Rinaldi’s 2023 season has been a mixed affair so far with two podiums from six races while he also has a retirement from an opening-lap crash at Mandalika and a 14th place finish in the wet at Phillip Island. However, he has shown strong pace throughout both winter testing and during races as he finished second in the Tissot Superpole Race and Race 2 in Australia while he was leading until the final few laps in Race 2 at Mandalika.

Looking back on the first two rounds of the year, and his goals for 2023, Rinaldi said at the Emilia-Romagna Round presentation: “For sure, my goal this season is to try to fight for the title. The first two rounds at Phillip Island and Mandalika, I felt really strong but, in the end, I wasn’t able to take the points or results that I wanted to. At the moment, I am the lion that is chasing the gazelle! My teammate is already 67 points away, but I’m not focused on that. I am focused on getting the maximum result each weekend which is the most important thing. In the end, I felt really good on the bike and really strong so I think, this year, we can do a great job!”

Rinaldi has made changes to his preparations for 2023 including a new trainer, the same as teammate and reigning World Champion Alvaro Bautista, and he has opened up on how this has helped him throughout testing and in the first two rounds of the season. Rinaldi also discussed whether ‘2023 Rinaldi’ was different from ‘2022 Rinaldi’ after a difficult season last year where he did not win a race.

Rinaldi said: “This winter, I completely changed my way of training. Now I have different daily routines and different trainings. I feel really different as a rider. I feel really strong. I worked this winter with Chaz Davies, our rider coach, and we understood our weak points and we worked on them. It’s a new version. It’s small details that make a big difference.”

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