After being one of the leading contenders during pre-season testing, Rinaldi came unravelled when rain fell before Race 1 of the WorldSBK season-opener at Phillip Island.

Starting on the second row, Rinaldi dropped as low as 14th which is the same position he finished the race in.

Therefore in need of a big response during last Sunday’s double-header, Rinaldi provided just that as he finished twice a runner-up to teammate Alvaro Bautista.

But while it was a strong performance in the dry, Rinaldi is keen to make the necessary improvements in the wet, starting this weekend should it be needed. 

Rinaldi said: "We should improve during the wet conditions because maybe here, if it is raining, we should be in the fight for a podium. But overall, I am quite happy with the start of the season. 

"What I learnt is that the base in the wet is not good, so I spoke to the engineers and said ‘if we want to fight all year in top positions, then we have to improve in all conditions’ as it’s not acceptable to finish in P14. 

"If it rains, we’ll have another setup and so I’ll be comfortable. Here is a different track compared to Phillip Island, but I think we can be competitive, but the other riders will be closer. I don’t think one rider will break away. 

"On the Imola announcement [WorldSBK have confirmed that Imola will return as round seven], it is one of my favourite tracks; I won there in STK1000 and I have good memories! I want to ride there as it’s special, like Misano, so I couldn’t be happier about that news!"

Aside from the wet conditions on Race 1, Rinaldi has looked re-born in 2023, which he’s admitted is mostly down to making big changes to his lifestyle.

The Italian said: "I spoke with my trainer, and he said to me, ‘we improved a lot like this, but we still have this’, but it’ll be the best version of Michael. In these months, I’ve sacrificed a lot; no more parties, no more staying out late, I was in bed at 10, always! 

"During Christmas and New Year as well. This is my life now. Yesterday [Race 1], I was upset because after I sacrificed a lot – or changed a lot of my routine – I finished P14, 55 seconds from the win, I said ‘f**k, why?’. 

"But I kept on; on Sunday morning, I trained and followed the plan and I think that I have room for improvement!"