Valentino Rossi’s VR46 team will take to the MotoGP grid next season after signing a three-year deal with Ducati.
Aramco Racing Team VR46 will be an independent team with the Borgo Panigale factory, having two bikes line up on the 2022 grid and beyond. Pablo Nieto – current Team Manager of Sky VR46 in Moto2 and Moto3 – will be promoted to Team Manager of the MotoGP setup.
“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,” said team spokesman Alessio Salucci.
“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.”
Although unconfirmed, it is likely Rossi's half-brother Luca Marini will occupy one bike while Marco Bezzecchi will take the other.
The team has also signed a five-year deal with Dorna, guaranteeing a grid slot until 2027. There will now be eight Ducatis on the start line at Losail next season and still only two Suzukis.