The VR46 Riders Academy came about in 2013 and next year the team, headed up by Valentino Rossi (the most successful rider at Assen) will land in MotoGP. 2022 will see the Aramco Racing Team VR46 compete in the reigning class with young Italian talents and Ducati bikes, thanks to a three-year agreement made with the constructor. This will be a satellite team for the Borgo Panigale manufacturer, bringing two additional bikes to the grid, for a total of eight Desmosedici GPs on track.
A solid collaboration
Promoted to the MotoGP team, Pablo Nieto will take on the role of Team Manager, having worked with the VR46 Riders Academy and Sky Racing Team VR46 riders in Moto3 and Moto2 since 2015. The agreement also consolidates the partnership between VR46 and Tanal Entertainment Sport&Media, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, and is part of Tanal's investment plans for Entertainment Sports & Media related to Saudi Vision 2030. These include large urban projects linked to the KSA New Cities brand, research and avant-garde technology with the involvement of MAIC Technologies, KMHG and other partners international projects and projects aimed at sustainability also in the Motorsport sector.
Alessio Salucci, VR46 Riders Academy, comments: “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”. A success story: “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”.
A point of pride for Ducati
Ducati Corse General Manager Luigi Dall’Igna is pleased with this latest milestone: “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.” One of which is Pecco Bagnaia, now part of the ‘red’ factory team.
The Italian engineer concludes: “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.”
In the name of Valentino Rossi
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports, adds: “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 MotoGP class, his extraordinary legacy will continue to inspire new generations of riders and fans”.
And if Rossi were one of the two riders?
HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud states: "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”.
The names of the riders are still to be confirmed but His Royal Highness admits: “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.”
Translated by Heather Watson