Valentino Rossi is not holding back in his expectations for Mooney VR46 duo Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi as MotoGP 2023 approaches.
With the season’s final preparations in full flow, and the final official test before the inaugural round at Portugal hitting the track this weekend, Rossi had his say on the pair’s performance to date, as well as the potential available in his team going forward.
“I expect a lot from the second year from the Mooney VR46 racing team because last year was our debut in MotoGP,” the nine-time world champion turned team owner confirmed. “The season was very positive because all the team work very well and we were very competitive in a lot of races, we fight for the top five and for the podium.
“We have two riders that are very young and very strong so I hope that with one more year of experience, we can be even stronger.
“I expect a lot from Luca because last year he did a great improvement compared to the first season and in a lot of different races he was very strong,” he said of his younger brother, Marini. “He have the pace for fight for the top positions. Unfortunately he was not able to achieve one podium and I think that he deserved. So this is the main goal, the first goal for this season and try to be stronger than last year.
“I expect also a lot from Bez because last year was his rookie season and he was very strong, very fast,” Rossi said of Bezzecchi. “He did the one podium in Assen, and a lot, a lot of time he fight for the top five so I think that was a great season for a rookie. I think that this year, with more experience he can be also stronger.
“We have to try to fight for the victory and for the podiums.”