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Valentino Rossi has whittled VR46 bike choice down to two options

MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi confirms his VR46 Racing Team's maiden foray into the premier class in 2022 will run either Yamaha or Ducati machinery

Valentino Rossi, VR46, Aramco,


Valentino Rossi has confirmed his burgeoning MotoGP entry - the VR46 Racing Team - will likely use either Yamaha or Ducati machinery when it makes its likely MotoGP World Championship debut in 2022.

Though it is yet to formally announce its plans to graduate from Moto2 to MotoGP, Rossi’s VR46 rider academy-turned-world championship winning grand prix outfit is dipping it toe into the premier class this year by backing Luca Marini’s Avintia Racing Ducati, while a soft unveiling showing Aramco-backed renders have also been circulated.

Indeed, it is anticipated that VR46 will assume the entry currently held by Avintia Racing, meaning it will have the option to extend an agreement with Ducati that currently sees it running one or two year old machinery for its riders.

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While Pramac remains strong enough as Ducati’s satellite partner to assume VR46 isn’t pitching to become de facto No.2 in the the Borgo Panigale MotoGP family, Rossi’s publicity clout could well see it brought to a similar status in terms of machinery and factory-assistance.

Alternatively, Rossi is be keen to maintain his association with Yamaha beyond his own racing duties, while he has repeatedly stated he would never represent another manufacturer directly himself in the years of his retirement,

While this is unlikely to prevent VR46 from talking with any manufacturer, Rossi’s close ties with Yamaha could bring it high quality machinery in a deal that will enable a neat transition period from when the very marketable Italian does hang up his helmet.

“I would say we are at a good point, everything is confirmed, including the support of the sponsor (Saudi oil giants, Aramco),” Rossi told GPOne.com. “We are talking with Yamaha and Ducati, both choices have pros and cons. I would say there is a 50% chance for each, but the decision is not just up to us. I think the situation will unlock in the next few weeks, it won’t take long. In my opinion we will know everything after Mugello.”

The words suggest any hope of seeing Rossi - already champion with Honda and Yamaha - try and do the Japanese triple by attempting to win races or a title with Suzuki seem to be in the short term at least unlikely.

What is less clear is whether VR46 could replace Petronas SRT as Yamaha’s factory aligned official satellite outfit. The Malaysian-backed team has been tight-lipped on whether it will still be a Yamaha team when it enters the new contract cycle from 2022 onwards, with talk it could defect to Suzuki should it green light a satellite expansion.