Rinaldi: WorldSBK’s dark horse

He’s smart, smiley and small…and that’s a very good thing in motorcycle racing. While all the talk revolves around Rea, Redding and Razgatlioglu, perhaps it’s another ‘R’ who we should be watching out for in the 2021 World Superbike Championship season: Rinaldi.

For those who have followed the WorldSBK support classes over the last few years, Michael Ruben Rinaldi is a well-known figure. Now 25, the boy from Rimini was Toprak Razgatlioglu’s biggest rival in both Superstock 600 and Superstock 1000, claiming the title on a 1000 in 2017.

He stepped up into World Superbike with the Aruba Junior Team in 2018 and has long-since been Ducati’s little baby. Whether WorldSBK or MotoGP, no Italian rider has ever won a world motorcycle racing title aboard a Ducati. Considering Alberto Ascari was the last Italian to win the F1 world title for Ferrari in 1953, surely it’s about time that country celebrated a homegrown World Champion in one of its own machines?

Rinaldi spoke with Greg in this week’s Motorcycle News (Wednesday 17th March). Keep an eye out – we’ve got a feeling about him. Young, fast, switched on and very humble…that’s Rinaldi.