Ducati names Alvaro Bautista's Aruba.it team-mate for 2023

The speculation over Michael Rinaldi’s World Superbike future is over with official confirmation that he will remain at the factory Aruba.it Ducati team for 2023.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, French WorldSBK race2, 11 September
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, French WorldSBK race2, 11 September

Axel Bassani and Danilo Petrucci had also been linked with the Panigale V4R seat alongside title leader Alvaro Bautista, but Ducati has chosen to keep Rinaldi for what will be a third season at the factory team and fifth in WorldSBK.

Rinaldi, a race winner in 2020 and 2021, is currently best-of-the-rest in this year's standings behind the big three of Bautista, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea.

“Michael Rinaldi is a young rider who grew up in Superbike with Ducati and has proven time and time again that he is very fast and knows how to make the most of the potential of the Panigale V4R machine,” said Ducati Corse sporting director Paolo Ciabatti.

“That's why we are also happy to count on him for the next Championship. With an extra year of experience with the official Aruba.it Racing - Ducati team, we are convinced that he will be able to aspire to even more important results in 2023.”

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Rinaldi has taken three podiums this season, including a season best of second place at the recent Magny-Cours round.

"I am very happy to race again next year for Aruba.it Racing - Ducati because I firmly believe in this project,” Rinaldi said. “I am very confident that in 2023 we can reap everything we have sown together with the team.

“I will be the first to work even harder, both in training and on track, to get better results and have the consistency that has been lacking so far.

“I want to thank Stefano Cecconi, Claudio Domenicali, Luigi Dall'Igna, Paolo Ciabatti, Serafino Foti, and all the people who trusted in me. I can't wait to be in Barcelona to get a good result and repay this confidence. And I am sure that 2023 will be a great year for us."

Team Principal Stefano Cecconi added: "Michael has the potential to be one of the fastest riders in the World Superbike Championship and he has been able to prove it on several occasions.

“Our long journey together will be extended at least until the end of 2023, thus giving continuity and preserving the current team set-up that is also allowing us to be first in the manufacturer and team championships.

“We believe 2023 will be for Michael the year of definitive consecration; at the same time, we are confident that during this second part of the season we’ll reap the benefits of the work done so far, in terms of satisfaction and consistency of results".

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