Superstock champion Rinaldi steps up to World Superbike

European Superstock 1000 champion Michael Ruben Rinaldi will step to the World Superbike championship this year with Ducati machinery.

Rinaldi, 22, will contest the European-based rounds of the 2018 schedule on a Panigale R bike run under the ' Racing Junior Team' banner, starting with April's Aragon races.

The Italian, who edged out Toprak Razgatiloglu to the 2017 Supersport crown by eight points, tested the WSBK-spec Ducati at Jerez in November.

"I'm obviously very happy for this opportunity," commented Rinaldi.

"To be able to keep racing with the Racing Junior Team after two memorable seasons, and to step up to WorldSBK, with a competitive bike and such a great crew, is a dream come true.

"We will start our season in Aragon, so we'll try to use the extra time available to be even more prepared.

"The goal is first and foremost to learn as much as possible, and to improve both my riding and my working approach, but clearly we'll also try to show our potential, because we have all the necessary tools to achieve good results."

Team boss Stefano Cecconi added: "Two years ago when we decided to double our commitment and create the Racing Junior Team, our main goal was to select young talents and give them a chance to develop as riders.

"After taking the Superstock 1000 title last year with Michael, the rider's and team's debut in WorldSBK was the obvious next step to take on this path.”

Provisional 2018 WSBK entry list:


 Jonathan Rea

 Tom Sykes


 Chaz Davies

 Marco Melandri

Crescent Yamaha

 Alex Lowes

 Michael van der Mark

Honda Ten Kate

 Leon Camier

 Jake Gagne

Milwaukee Aprilia

 Eugene Laverty

 Lorenzo Savadori

MV Agusta  Jordi Torres
Puccetti Kawasaki  Toprak Razgatlioglu 
Pedercini Kawasaki  Yonny Hernandez
GoEleven Kawasaki  Roman Ramos
Orelak Kawasaki  Leandro Mercado
Barni Ducati  Xavi Fores
Ducati Junior Team  Michael Ruben Rinaldi*
TripleM Honda  PJ Jacobsen
Guandalini Yamaha  Ondrej Jezek
Althea BMW  Loris Baz
Grillini Suzuki

 Roberto Rolfo

 Gabriele Ruiu 

* Only European rounds

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About this article
Series World Superbike
Drivers Michael Ruben Rinaldi
Teams Racing Junior Team
Article type Breaking news