Tony Arbolino has ruled himself out of contention for a Ducati seat in next year’s MotoGP World Championship after putting pen to paper on a fresh deal with Marc VDS Racing in the Moto2 class.
The Italian had emerged as one of a handful of names being touted for a prized spot on one of Ducati’s eight bikes earmarked for the 2024 MotoGP season, with Gresini Racing considered his most likely destination.
However, Johann Zarco’s impending exit from Pramac Racing has left Ducati’s rider line-up in a state of flux, with a number of high-profile riders potentially in the frame to join too.
As such, Arbolino has opted to put his MotoGP plans on ice for the time being in favour of a third season with Marc VDS Racing.
The 23-year old, who made his Moto2 debut in 2021, joined forces with the Belgian outfit in 2022, going on to score a maiden win in the Grand Prix of The Americas. Two more trips to the top of the podium helped him forge a route to fourth in the overall standings.
It is form he has continued to build on this season with two wins and six podiums lifting him to the head of the standings until Round 8 when he was overhauled by Pedro Acosta. After ten rounds, Arbolino trails his Spanish rival by 12 points.
Arbolino’s signature means Marc VDS Racing now has a complete rider line-up for the 2024 Moto2 season having already confirmed the signing of Filip Salac from Gresini Racing earlier this month.
Marc VDS Racing will also branch out into the WorldSBK Championship next season for the first time with Sam Lowes signed on to line-up aboard a customer Ducati Panigale V4 R.