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Michael Ruben Rinaldi escapes serious harm in Donington WorldSBK impact

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Aruba.it Ducati, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK, Donington Park, portrait, helmet, grid [credit - Gold & Goose]

Michael Ruben Rinaldi says he doesn’t remember much about what led to him getting caught up in a spectacular lap one incident during the final WorldSBK race of the weekend at Donington Park.

The Italian crashed heavily after making contact with Loris Baz coming round Coppice, the Frenchman having been forced to take avoiding action from Tom Sykes’ spiralling BMW M 1000 RR after the Briton suffered a monster high-side.

The incident left Rinaldi requiring lengthy medical assistance while the race was red flagged, with concerns that he had damaged his ankle. However, upon arriving at the medical centre, x-rays showed no fractures.

Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Aruba.it Ducati, Ducati Panigale V4 R, 2023 WorldSBK, Donington Park, accident, incident, crash [credit - Gold & Goose]

"It has been a really unlucky weekend where something important always happened in the early laps. Today's accident was really bad. I only remember finding myself on the ground with a lot of pain in my ankle. 

“Fortunately, the initial analysis ruled out fractures. I wish a speedy recovery to Sykes, who was at the medical centre with me."

The incident comes at an inopportune time for Rinaldi, who is fighting to retain his Aruba.it Ducati seat for the 2024 WorldSBK season. The Italian remains sixth in the standings, but is now 44 points adrift of privateer Axel Bassani.

Bassani, together with runaway WorldSSP Championship leader Nicolo Bulega, are considered in the frame to potentially replace Rinaldi and partner Alvaro Bautista next year.

>>> 2023 WorldSBK Championship Standings <<<

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