Rinaldi to partner Bautista at Ducati WSBK team in 2022

Michael Ruben Rinaldi will remain at the works Ducati World Superbike team for 2022 as teammate to Alvaro Bautista, the Italian marque has announced.

Rinaldi to partner Bautista at Ducati WSBK team in 2022

Rinaldi stepped up to the factory Ducati outfit following an impressive 2020 campaign riding for the satellite Go Eleven squad, which included his first WSBK race victory at Aragon.

The Italian added to that tally with two more wins at his home round at Misano earlier this season.

Rinaldi had stated earlier this month at Most that he was "99 percent" to stay at Ducati in 2022, as he had originally been signed to a two-year deal but with an option on the second year.

Now, ahead of this weekend's Magny-Cours round, Ducati has confirmed that Rinaldi will indeed stay in place to partner Bautista, who is returning to the Bologna firm in place of BMW-bound Scott Redding.

The news leaves only three factory seats left to be confirmed for the 2022 season: the second seat alongside Toprak Razgatlioglu at Yamaha - widely expected to be kept by incumbent Andrea Locatelli - and both Honda rides, with Bautista departing and Leon Haslam also rumoured to be leaving.

Rinaldi lies sixth in the riders' standings, a single point behind Locatelli in the battle for fifth, with two further podium finishes on top of his Misano wins.

Redding is third following his wins last time out at Navarra, 38 points behind joint leaders Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea, while Ducati leads the manufacturers' chase by three points from Kawasaki.

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