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BSN's Top 10 WorldSBK Riders of the Year: 7th - Michael Ruben Rinaldi

Gold & Goose
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Aruba Racing, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK, Aragon, action [Gold & Goose]

The long winter period may be in full swing but there is still time to look back at the 2023 WorldSBK Championship season as BSN brings you our rundown of the Top 10 WorldSBK Riders of the Year.

Onto seventh place and Michael Ruben Rinaldi

TeamAruba.it Racing
MotorcycleDucati Panigale V4 R
Overall Classification5th
Points251 points
Best Results1st [R10 - MotorLand Aragon]


By all intents and purposes, the 2023 WorldSBK was arguably the strongest of Michael Ruben Rinaldi’s trio of race-winning, but ultimately frustrating, seasons with the Aruba.it Racing Ducati team.

Even so, it still felt more like a continuation of a thread that has played out during Rinaldi's entire time with the factory outfit - namely his struggle to string together a consistent set of strong results to supplement the spikes in his form - rather than a breakthrough.

To be fair, being team-mate to Alvaro Bautista brings its own unique challenges, the Spaniard’s dominant form making it tricky to ascertain whether he was the one over-performing on a good bike or whether Rinaldi was in fact under-performing on a superior one.

Indeed, it’s ironic that Bautista’s season was built on a foundation of being scintillatingly fast week-in, week-out, a stark contrast to Rinaldi, whose results would scattergun from one weekend to the next.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Aruba.it Ducati, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK, Misano, portrait, pit [credit - Gold & Goose]
Michael Ruben Rinaldi just moments away from having his day ruined by someone interrupting his sneeze

To his credit, Rinaldi was one of only four riders to taste the winners’ champagne all year with a canny ride to victory in Aragon, while nine podiums represented his best trophy haul over a single season yet.

However, it was too regularly offset by anonymous results elsewhere, an assessment that had been levelled to his 2021 and 2022 WorldSBK campaigns on the works Ducati too, while he was often found having to work harder than most to recover from mid-pack starting positions.

Even so, while few were surprised when it was confirmed Rinaldi wouldn't get a fourth term with Aruba.it Racing, those same few won’t be surprised if he goes on to flourish again in less pressured surroundings on the privateer Motocorsa Ducati next year.

BSN’s Top 10 WorldSBK Riders of 2023


8 - Garrett Gerloff

9 - Dominique Aegerter

10 - Alex Lowes

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