OFFICIAL: Marini to leave Mooney VR46 at the end of 2023

The team have announced the Italian won’t be riding for them next season, paving the way for him to join Repsol Honda

After six seasons together Mooney VR46 Racing Team have confirmed that Luca Marini will be leaving the team at the end of the 2023 season, meaning Sunday’s race at the Gran Premio Motul de la Comunitat Valenciana will be the Italian’s last for the squad.

Amid strong rumours linking Marini to the vacant Repsol Honda Team seat in the last couple of weeks, VR46’s announcement on Saturday in Valencia paves the way for the #10 to replace the outgoing Marc Marquez in the factory Honda outfit for 2024.

With Marini’s exit now confirmed, we await official news from Repsol Honda announcing they have signed the 26-year-old to line up alongside Joan Mir.

Luca Marini: “I spent most of my Championship career in this Team, so many of the most significant moments of my career so far are linked to this group of people. We have grown a lot together and have gained a lot of satisfactions.

“This will be my last race with the Mooney VR46 Racing Team: I thought a lot before making this decision and evaluated the new challenges I will face. I leave behind a fantastic Team that contributed to my growth and knowledge of the technical aspects and complexity that characterise this kind sport. It's time to embrace a new path with enthusiasm, without denying what has been, but with the eyes focused on the future.”

Alessio Salucci, Team Director: “I have really seen Luca grow, since he was a child, then from a motorsport point of view I had the pleasure of seeing him become one of the strongest riders in MotoGP. I'm happy to have shared six beautiful seasons with him in this project. From the first satisfactions in Moto2, the second place in the Championship in 2020, then the debut in MotoGP, the birth of our Team in the Top class and a 2023 where he managed to be a real protagonist.

“Luca is a professional with few equals, a technician, a true passionate enthusiast before being a rider and then a great worker. It is a pity to let him go, he will be a really tough opponent in the future, but an opportunity of this type is too much important not to be considered and I sincerely I wish him, together with the whole Team, the very best of luck.”

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