Michael Rinaldi and Ducati have agreed to a contract extension until the end of the 2022 WorldSBK campaign. 

The Italian rider has endured a difficult first campaign with the factory team, with only Misano proving to be a standout round - two wins and a P2. 

Rinaldi has largely been out-performed by team-mate Scott Redding - especially of late as Redding is the highest points scorer from the last six races. 

Whereas Redding has claimed three wins and three second place finishes, Rinaldi has had just two top fives. 

But with Redding leaving for BMW in 2022, retaining Rinaldi is a smart move by Ducati as it will allow the team to keep some level of continuity within their rider line-up. 

Rinaldi will be joined by former Ducati rider in 2019, Alvaro Bautista after the Spaniard agreed to return to the team during the Navarra World Superbike round. 

With Ducati announcing this news, it means they, Kawasaki and BMW are the three factory teams to have confirmed their 2022 line-up. 

Rinaldi is currently sixth in the world championship - one place and point behind Yamaha rookie Andrea Locatelli. 

While current Ducati riders Redding and Rinaldi have their futures sorted for 2022, Chaz Davies will be the next big name to watch after being linked with Honda. 

Next up for Rinaldi and Ducati is round eight at Magny-Cours, France, a venue which saw the Italian take two seventh places and a sixth for Team GoEleven Ducati in race three last year.