Still without news on whether he will be riding for the Ducati team alongside team-mate Alvaro Bautista in 2023, Rinaldi has shifted his focus to this weekend’s French WorldSBK round which has been a tough venue for Ducati in recent years. 

The Italian manufacturer’s last win at Magny-Cours came in 2017 when Chaz Davies won race two, but with Bautista in the form of his life, there’s reason to believe Ducati could make a return to the top step of the podium. 

One of the riders who would like to make that a reality for Ducati is Rinaldi, as the Italian is still without a win so far this season - Rinaldi had two race wins at this stage last season. 

Rumours surrounding his future have been intense as Rinaldi’s factory Ducati seat has also been linked to MotoAmerica title contender Danilo Petrucci and fellow WorldSBK rider Axel Bassani

It’s also the only remaining factory seat that has yet to be confirmed for the 2023 WorldSBK campaign. 

"It’s been a strange summer for me," added Rinaldi. "The goal is to just give 120% on the bike, I don’t look at the position anymore. If I give my 120% and win, I’ll be happy; if I give my 120% and I’m fifth, I’ll be happy. 

"I don’t care about the result. We will update about my future after this round."

WorldSBK series leader Bautista without ‘expectation’

For Bautista, maintaining his 30-plus point lead over Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu could prove challenging this weekend as both riders have brilliant records at Magny-Cours. 

Bautista also has limited experience on dry tyres at the French circuit after the 2019 round was heavily impacted by rain. 

"I approach the weekend like any other; for me, I haven’t done a lot of dry laps with the Ducati at this track three years ago, so I approach the round without any expectation," said the former MotoGP rider. 

"We’ll work from Friday to try and get a good feeling with the bike, the same as I have done at the rest of the rounds, and try to be as competitive as possible and then we’ll see. 

"At Magny-Cours, the weather can be critical as sometimes you have a lot of rain or a lot of heat. In any case, I’ll try to be competitive and try and do my best."