Official confirmation on Valentino Rossi's VR46 squad moving to MotoGP™ full-time in 2022 is imminent, according to long-time assistant to The Doctor and VR46 Director Uccio Salucci. Speaking to Italy's Sky Sport MotoGP earlier on Saturday, the Italian confirmed that VR46 has signed a five-year sponsorship deal with Aramco whilst talks are ongoing over which factory they will partner up with.
Ducati's Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti confirmed on Friday that the Bologna factory are in advanced talks with both VR46 and Gresini Racing over a 2022 partnership. However, VR46 are also speaking with Aprilia and Yamaha with official news expected "within ten days".
"We - as VR46 - are very happy about the five-year agreement with Aramco," started the VR46 Director. "We have been speaking about this project for a lot of time, but, in reality, we only started working on the deal six days ago. We have spoken with Yamaha and Aprilia and we are speaking with Ducati. The team is growing, which this deal reflects.
"Within ten days we are going to surely know which bike we will use in the next years. Yamaha has always been in our hearts, we have been with Yamaha for 15 years, so if there were the right conditions, why not? We would like to close the issue about this new project within ten days. Great efforts and time are required to set up a MotoGP™ team but we'll decide soon."
It's almost certain that half-brother Luca Marini will remain in the squad, regardless of which factory they sign with, but the rumour mill will start turning as to who will partner the rookie next year. Will it be the nine-time World Champion himself, will Moto2™ star Marco Bezzecchi be promoted to the premier class or could we see a shock switch from another member of the VR46 Academy? Stay tuned to motogp.com over the coming week to be the first to know who VR46 will be teaming up with next year as the 2022 MotoGP™ grid begins to take shape.
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