Micheal Ruben Rinaldi is the man of the week after a splendid weekend in Misano and also the host of our Live broadcast (which you can see in full above). The Ducati Aruba team rider spoke about several topics, outspokenly, and also interacted with our readers.
It was a long and pleasant chat that could not fail to start from his recent successes…
"Misano was a weekend that almost went beyond expectations, I started on Friday wanting to score a lot of points, I needed to redeem myself and I was focused - he explained - It was great, I still have to realize what happened: to win in front of the crowd that was supporting me, on an Italian bike and close to home. I think it's an emotion that you only feel a few times in life, although I hope to have it again ".
A lot of Ducati fans were happy to see Bayliss’s number 21 back on the top step of the podium with the factory team…
“I was born on December 21st and have used that number since the days of mini-moto. It just so happens that I found myself in the official Ducati team, it was obvious for me to keep it, but everyone started telling me it was Bayliss's. So I wrote to Troy to ask him if I could use it, he replied that he would like to have his number back on a Ducati. But then he also made it clear to me that I had to give it some gas (laughs), he put some pressure on me".
You arrived in the factory team thanks also to Cecconi, patron of Aruba…
“I'm a straight guy and many people like me and others don't, but I'm always myself. Those with a similar character to mine appreciate it, even if at times I should be more political. I arrived here remaining myself and Stefano immediately believed in me. It is true that I am here thanks to Aruba, but if Cecconi did it, it is because he believed in me and this victory is also for him ”.
But the beginnings were not easy ...
“My first year in SBK was very difficult for me and at the end of the season Barni no longer wanted to continue with me. That was a key moment, Go Eleven was interested in me a priori, but without the help of Aruba I wouldn't have been able to have that package that allowed me to do some good races. Knowing that I risked ending up without a ride, I knew that 2020 would be the year of truth and I decided to take it as when I was little, just having fun. I did it and won my first SBK race, this allowed me to join the factory team. "
Even before that, you also worked in a factory to finance your racing. Can you tell us this story?
"When I rode for the first time in Superstock 600 I was with the Gas team, which had taken me from Moto3, without asking me for one cent, also because I didn't have any. It was a small team, with few resources, but they put their heart into it. Unfortunately, the results did not arrive, also because the means were not the best. So I went to Germano Bertuzzi, who had sponsored Savadori, told him I had the potential to win and that if he helped me, I would work for him. At the end of the year he said yes and I started working with him for two years ”.
Let's talk about your opponents: Razgatlıoğlu.
“Toprak is a talented rider and he is the strongest of all in braking. We have been fighting against each other since 2016 and we have pushed ourselves to improve and there is a lot of respect between us ".
You have had a few run-ins with Gerloff instead…
"He is a guy who has a lot of talent and puts his heart into it, he just has to try to be calmer on certain occasions".
Who was your idol when you were a kid?
“I was born when Valentino exploded onto the scene and he was my idol. Now I happen to have a look at the old SBK races and they had a lot of guts ”.
Do you ever think about MotoGP?
“The dream of every rider is to arrive in MotoGP one day, anyone who says anything else is lying. My career has led me to be in SBK, I'm happy with where I am, in the contract I have nothing related to MotoGP, but I'm young and if I could take the title home I'd like to move there. If they were to call me even just for a test, I would go in a hurry (laughs) ”.
A lot of enthusiasts are wondering what the difference is between a production bike and an SBK…
"The already standard Panigale V4S allowed me to lap in 1’37" high at Misano, only removing the mirrors. With a few improvements you can really get to 2 seconds from an SBK. I don't use it before races because you can't work on certain details that I can only do on SBK, for example the fuel tank is a bit too big. "