Rinaldi pens emotional message to Ducati after losing factory ride

Michael Ruben Rinaldi says ‘I always gave my all every step of the way’ in a heartfelt message to Ducati after losing his factory WorldSBK ride.
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Ducati WorldSBK Donington Park 2023
Michael Ruben Rinaldi, Ducati WorldSBK Donington Park 2023

Rinaldi officially lost his Aruba.it Ducati WorldSBK seat to Nicolo Bulega on Tuesday, bringing an end to a three-year stint with the team.

Rinaldi joined the team in 2021 alongside Scott Redding, after beginning his Superbike journey with the Aruba.it Racing Junior team.

Ducati recently admitted that keeping Rinaldi aboard a Panigale V4 R would be of interest, but that appears to be a very slim possibility as factory rides at Kawasaki and Honda could be points of destination for the Italian.

If Rinaldi does leave Ducati it will mark the end of a six-year partnership, after he joined the series in 2018.

Speaking about his journey with Ducati, Rinaldi said: "So many years since that race... The STK1000 title, many emotions and great satisfactions achieved together that allowed me to get to WorldSBK. 

"Then growth, the first victory in the World Championship, the podiums, moving from the Independents’ Championship victory in 2020 to signing for the factory team. 

"After all these years with you, and the last three in the factory team, the time has come to close this great chapter and aim for new challenges."

Although Rinaldi has had very strong performances in 2023, he’s lacked consistency and the ability to get on terms with teammate Alvaro Bautista.

Bautista has won 18 races from 24 while Rinaldi is yet to open his account. 

A race winner with Ducati in both 2021 and 2022, Rinaldi added: "I always gave my all every step of the way, growing as a professional and as a person. 

"You have supported me and endured me, and together we have always believed, pushing me in every race and never giving up and I’m proud of that. 

"Everything was special. I’m proud to have won the Teams’ and Manufacturers’ title in 2022 and, more than anything else, to climb on the top step of the podium, together, in front of the crowd at home in Misano. 

"Incredible moments that will drive me forward this 2023 season with grit and determination."

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