Valentino Rossi is retiring from MotoGP... but he'll still be everywhere in 2022

Valentino Rossi may not be racing in MotoGP next season... but with four different teams bearing his name set for all three classes, you won't forget him

Marco Bezzecchi - Sky Racing Moto2

He may not be on the grid himself next season but the spectre of Valentino Rossi will be alive, well and multiplied for the 2022 Motorcycle Grand Prix racing season with four teams bearing his name to compete across three classes.

With only four rounds of the 2021 MotoGP season - and Rossi’s MotoGP career - to go, the series is preparing for a life without The Doctor hauling in loyal yellow-clad fans to races week-in, week-out. 

However, while many will want to forget what is turning out to be a dismal swansong season for the Italian, next year will see his legacy out in full force courtesy of his successful VR46 Racing Academy.

Of course, the 2022 MotoGP season will see his VR46 Racing set-up progress into the premier class for the first time with a pair of Ducati bikes almost certainly going the way of his brother Luca Marini, plus next-in-waiting VR46 Academy protege Marco Bezzecchi.

In addition, his name will adorn two different Moto2 teams in 2022 - the Aramco VR46 Racing team and the Avintia VR46 Riders Academy, while the latter will also enter a team in Moto3.

A couple of things to note here. Firstly, Aramco features VR46 Racing’s Moto2 entry, suggesting all is going ahead with the vast but delayed investment from Saudi Arabia under the name of its huge state-backed oil company.

Secondly, it confirms the future of Avintia Racing, which exits MotoGP after 10 seasons in order to make way for VR46 Racing assuming its entries, and presumably much of its mechanics and engineering staff.

The Spanish outfit - fresh from winning only the second podium of its MotoGP tenure last weekend - will become the platform for other members of the VR46 Riders Academy to shine, while also hinting the programme is set to expand further now Rossi isn’t racing.

Beyond the VR46 Racing team itself, the Academy is represented by three graduates in MotoGP this season - Franco Morbidelli, Pecco Bagnaia and Marini - with Bezzecchi set to swell this number to four in 2022. 

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