Dovizioso: Rinaldi’s ‘problem was Alvaro’, less pressure ‘not a reality…’

Andrea Dovizioso expects fellow Italian riders Michael Ruben Rinaldi and Andrea Iannone to have success in WorldSBK next season, but how much remains a question mark.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Alvaro Bautista , Race1, Emilia-Romagna WorldSBK, 3 June
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Alvaro Bautista , Race1, Emilia-Romagna WorldSBK, 3…

The three-time MotoGP runner-up was teammates to Iannone at Ducati, while he also has a close relationship with Rinaldi.

Iannone is returning to world championship racing for the first time in four years, while the 2024 season will mark the first time Rinaldi is without full factory machinery since 2021. 

Speaking to about Iannone’s return, Dovizioso said: “I think it’s good for the Championship. I think everybody knows his talent so I wouldn’t be surprised if he is very fast. 

“To stay at the front and battle to be on top, it’ll be difficult because the level is high, and I don’t know how difficult it is to come back after four years. I’m interested to see how he does.”

With regards to Rinaldi, the five-time Superbike race winner will no longer be lining up alongside Alvaro Bautista, who won his second title in succession at the season-finale in Jerez.

That should free up Rinaldi in terms of expectation and pressure, although competing with the best bike on the grid will still have its own challenges.

Now part of the Motocorsa team, Rinaldi should still have the possibility to win races, according to Dovizioso. 

“That’s for sure,” began Dovizioso. “Rinaldi’s problem was Alvaro. He was so strong, and I know Michael, and I know what it means to be in the factory team. 

“Like every Independent rider thinks, the factory team gives you the possibility to win. On one side yes but it’s not reality. Michael realised that. 

“I think he will have a chance next year to stay at the top because he will have the same situation as the factory bike, or similar, so if he approaches the season in a relaxed way, which is difficult, he can be in the top five every week.”

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