The Aramco Racing Team VR46 has signed a deal with Ducati Motor to be its partner in MotoGP in a three-year deal, starting from 2022.
Amid speculations of multiple choices, Valentino Rossi’s VR46 MotoGP team has finally opted for the services of Ducati in a three-year deal for its premier class debut from 2022 onward, while it also signed a five-year with Dorna to compete in the top class.
The step into MotoGP completes VR46’s role from Moto3 to Moto2 to the premier class, where it will compete as an independent outfit. For Ducati, it makes for eight Desmosedici GPs on the grid with Pramac and Gresini along with its own factory outfit.
VR46 also informed that Pablo Nieto – current Team Manager of SKY Racing Team in Moto2 and Moto3 – will be promoted to Team Manager of the MotoGP setup. The riders, though, are yet to be confirmed with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi speculated to be the ones – but Rossi could make wildcard attempts as Prince noted later in the story.
The announcement also confirmed the agreement between VR46 and Tanal Entertainment Sport & Media, which is the joint venture with Saudi Aramco and is part of Tanal’s investment plans for Entertainment Sports & Media related to Saudi Vision 2030.
Upon the announcement, Alessio Salucci, VR46 Riders Academy, said: “We are happy to announce that in 2022 we will race in MotoGP with a team of two riders in the colours of the VR46. A journey that began a little over eight years ago with the birth of the VR46 Riders Academy, a beautiful adventure shared with Sky, a long, demanding journey, but full of satisfactions and which makes us very proud. This milestone has a truly unique meaning, but it is not an arrival point.
“Year after year, since 2013, we have grown, we have managed to write beautiful pages of our sport between Moto3 and Moto2 and we crossed our path with many young talents of Italian motorcycling that we have had the privilege of being able to support in their growth path and that we will continue to support from the classes lower up to the MotoGP. A key moment in our history that would not be it was possible without Carmelo Ezpeleta who has always believed in this project and to Ducati for the trust he has placed in us for the future.”
At the same time, Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna Sports CEO, added: “Having the pleasure of welcoming Team VR46 to the MotoGP category in 2022 is exciting both for fans from all over the world and for the MotoGP paddock followed the incredible career of Valentino Rossi and the growth of the VR46 Riders Academy from the beginning.
“Valentino is and will continue to be a very important part of the FIM MotoGP World Championship and now, with his team arriving in the class MotoGP, his extraordinary legacy will continue to inspire new generations of riders and fans. We welcome them to the premier class and look forward to many great achievements in the future.”
Meanwhile, Luigi Dall’Igna, Ducati Corse General Manager, stated: “We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with VR46 for the next three years. Their Academy has always worked seriously and with great professionalism, giving many riders the opportunity to gain experience in Moto2 and Moto3, and today they can be proud to have brought three young riders of great talent.
“VR46 has also shown that it is able to competently manage the a successful team in Moto3 and Moto2 and therefore we will strive to provide the maximum technical support to their new team in MotoGP, convinced they have found in VR46 an ambitious and motivated partner like us, with a common goal to achieve great results together.”
And finally, HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Saud: “To communicate the beauty of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, from our history millennial to the major projects that have been announced for the next few years, we have selected VR46 for a five-year joint venture as a strategic partner for competing as protagonists in the MotoGP World Championship organized by Dorna Sports.
“The agreement just signed between the team and Ducati for the supply of motorcycles for the seasons 2022-2024 is certainly news that we welcome very much positive. Ducati is a company that has great value both in Italy and abroad as well to have demonstrated incredible competitiveness.
“It would be great for me that Valentino Rossi can compete in the next few years as a pilot of our Aramco Racing Team VR46 together with his brother Luca Marini who already competes this year with the sponsorship of our brands KSA New Cities, MAIC Technologies, TANAL Entertainment Sport & Media.
“TANAL Entertainment Sport & Media and Aramco in the next few days will announce a collaboration in the projects from Saudi Arabia of international motorsport and the details of the project with VR46 in MotoGP and Moto2 world championship with the hope of being able to further extend its presence in MotoGP, which represents a fantastic show to train in the future young Saudi champions are also imminent.”
Here’s news about the Saudi investment in VR46