News 5 Sep 2023

WorldSBK step of Bulega made official with Ducati

WorldSSP leader to join Bautista in Racing for 2024.

Image: Supplied.

Supersport World Championship (WorldSSP) leader Nicolo Bulega will make the step to the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) next year, joining Alvaro Bautista in the Racing Ducati team for the 2024 season.

Bulega, 23, switched from the MotoGP paddock in 2022 to join Aruba.It Racing Ducati in WorldSSP, achieving nine podiums in his debut campaign in the class

The Italian started the 2023 season in fine form with a double victory at Phillip Island, and with a further seven race wins in the season to date, he currently leads the WorldSSP standings by 46 points.

In making the step to the WorldSBK category next year, he replaces Michael Rinaldi in Ducati’s factory premier class effort and looks forward to drawing from the experience of world champion teammate Bautista.

“I want to be honest, this is a dream come true,” said Bulega. “Racing for an official team is the desire of every rider. Therefore, before I talk about my emotions and expectations, I want to thank Ducati and Racing.

“And I am also extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given already last season by and Feel Racing and especially by Stefano Cecconi, Serafino Foti and Daniele Casolari. They chose me to ride a fantastic Ducati Panigale V2, on which I felt immediately comfortable.

“I know how important this opportunity is and I will always give my best to improve myself, day after day, with the only goal of getting the best possible results. I say it again, thank you for the trust.

“Thinking about the history of this team, where great champions have always raced, I feel proud to be able to defend the same colours. Also, I am very happy to be able to share the box with Alvaro Bautista. Having him as a teammate will be a big plus, I will try to absorb every information I can learn from him.”

Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse general manager, added: “We are pleased to welcome Nicolo Bulega to the official Superbike team. Since last season, Nicolo has been able to give us immense delight. He is a very talented rider, and his experience, despite his young age, could be a determining factor in facing this fascinating and demanding challenge.

“During the test held with the Ducati Panigale V4 R machine, he has shown that he has the potential to compete with the best riders in WorldSBK, and sharing the garage with Alvaro Bautista will only help him grow.

“However, it will be important for him to stay focused on his WorldSSP season. The Racing team had the merit last year to think about Bulega and involve him in a completely new project that Ducati cares so much about. We hope he can wrap up his last season in Supersport in the best possible way.”