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Michael Ruben Rinaldi teases 2024 WorldSBK deal imminent, Loris Baz unsure of return

Gold & Goose

Michael Ruben Rinaldi says he will make an announcement at the end of the 2023 WorldSBK round finale in Jerez regarding his whereabouts for the 2024 season.

The factory Aruba.it Ducati rider, who will be ousted from his seat by WorldSSP Champion Nicolo Bulega next season, had been closely linked to the works HRC Honda squad should Iker Lecuona return to MotoGP.

However, the announcement prior to the weekend that Lecuona and Xavi Vierge will remain on Honda machinery for the next two seasons has resulted in Rinaldi reverting to Plan B, anticipated to be a switch to the privateer Motocorsa Racing team to replace Kawasaki-bound Axel Bassani.


“The situation is pretty clear, but with the new team we have decided not to say anything until the end of the race so we will make an announcement on Monday.

“When the announcement was made of Bulega for 2024, I understood that this would end. I understand the situation but until now I wasn’t so emotional. I want to end the season in the best way I can and give my team a great result.”

Rinaldi is the highest-placed rider yet to confirm a ride for 2024, though he isn’t the only one with unclear plans for next season.

Brad Ray has been coy over his plans but is well placed to remain with Motoxracing Yamaha, while there could be a spare berth at Puccetti Kawasaki should the team continue in WorldSBK.

Elsewhere, GMT94 Yamaha won’t retain Lorenzo Baldassarri, with Go Eleven exile Philipp Oettl or Loris Baz tipped to replace him. For Baz, he says he has no firm plans in place after finding himself out of favour in BMW’s line-up once it signed Toprak Razgatlioglu.

The experienced Frenchman has endured a trying season, hampered by injury during round two when he suffered a broken leg after he was struck under braking by Alex Lowes.

“It has been a tough season with all the injuries and problems we’ve had but I am just hoping to have the best weekend I can,l then I can put the season behind me and start something new.”

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