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Making the step up, it's time to shine for Luca Marini

We take a look at the career of the Italian, who will soon make his MotoGP™ debut in what will be his eighth World Championship season

The 2021 MotoGP™ season is just around the corner as fans lick their lips in anticipation for what’s to come. One of the most exciting aspects for the year ahead is the changes in the team line-ups, with riders across the grid switching one set of colours for another, while others make the move to the premier class for the first time. One of those making the jump up from Moto2™ is Luca Marini, with SKY VR46 Avintia Racing placing their trust in the 23-year-old.

The man from Urbino will make his debut in MotoGP™ with his new team and will partner Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama Racing) at the Ducati outfit, a rider he fought against for the Moto2™ World Championship until the final rounds last season, and the pair once again look set to duke it out in the Rookie of the Year battle, an honour which the likes of Fabio Quartararo (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) and Brad Binder (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) have held in recent seasons.

Marini excited to get his MotoGP™ adventure underway

He is one of the most anticipated additions by MotoGP™ fans in a year in which he will ride the Desmosedici GP under the command of the SKY VR46 Avintia Team. The Italian has already had seven seasons experience on the World Championship circuit and now he has the opportunity to shine at the highest level. He will be keen to shake off the label of being known as Valentino Rossi's half-brother, as he looks to make a name for himself among the elite of the sport.

Marini took his first steps as a professional rider in the CIV and participated in the FIM CEV Repsol, both in Moto3™ and the European Moto2™. Good results opened the door to the World Championship for him to participate as a wildcard choice at the San Marino Grand Prix in Moto3™ and Moto2™. He signed his first contract as a permanent driver in 2016, when he signed for the intermediate category Forward Team. And he came close to becoming Rookie of the Year.

During his second season in Moto2™, the Italian failed to score regularly, so he opted for a change of scene. It was then that he signed for SKY Racing Team VR46. And what a change! His first 4 podiums came… And his first race victory, at the Malaysian Grand Prix. In his third year in the intermediate category, Marini reached the podium twice and won two races, in Buriram and Motegi.

Marini was once again among the favorites for the Moto2™ crown in 2020 with SKY Racing Team VR46, and he lived up to the tag as he lead the chasing pack for much of the Championship. However, a nasty crash in the French GP Qualifying took its toll on the Italian as he finished P17, losing his title lead in the process. Despite battling through the injury and securing P2 in Portimao, Marini couldn’t reach the summit again and finished second in the Championship, which proved worth its weight in gold, as it opened the doors to MotoGP™ for him.

All of the best bits from Avintia Esponsorama's 2021 launch

Luca will debut with the SKY Racing Team VR46 with Enea Bastianini (Avintia Esponsorama) as a teammate. Will we see the best version of Marini in MotoGP™? Will he be the next Rookie of the Year?

Fans can get their first look at Marini on his Desmosedici GP at the first Official Test, to be held in Qatar, at the beginning of March.

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