Rinaldi “like a son but racing is racing”, Ducati close to a decision

Ducati have confirmed a decision on their factory WorldSBK line-up for 2024 is close to being announced.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Ducati WorldSBK Most 2023
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Ducati WorldSBK Most 2023

Serafino Foti has admitted that Michael Ruben Rinaldi is like a son to Ducati and that they would like for the Italian to continue with them.

However, that appears unlikely as a change is expected alongside world champion Alvaro Bautista.

Nicolo Bulega is the hot favourite to join Bautista at Aruba.it Ducati, while Axel Bassani and Danilo Petrucci are expected to remain put at Motocorsa and Barni Ducati.

Andrea Iannone is also in the running to join Ducati, while Sam Lowes is coming across from Moto2 with the Marc VDS team aboard Panigale V4 R machinery.

In terms of confirming their full factory line-up, Foti said this on day-one of the Aragon test: "We are really close to a decision. We have a final meeting in the next few days. Our goal will be to announce our line-up at Magny-Cours. 

"To be honest, as I’ve said in the past, Bulega’s one of the best options but we also have other options. 

"We have a clear idea, but we would like to understand really what is the best choice for us. We have a really good relationship with Rinaldi. 

"He’s like a son but racing is racing. He was so fast on day one for us. I hope he can continue with Ducati because we will try to find him a place. The final decision will be made in the next few days."

The Arube.it Ducati team manager also spoke about their Supersport line-up, saying many riders have been discussed internally.

"At this moment, we tried to speak to many riders," said Foti. "A lot of riders also asked about riding in WorldSSP. 

"We need to be honest, and I try to be clear, we have many riders and I try to speak to them. It’s a little bit early but we would also like to define in the next month."

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