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 'Aruba.it 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 Aruba.it 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 Aruba.it 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:
Michael van der Mark
|Honda Ten Kate||
|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|
* Only European rounds