Now it's official, Valentino Rossi's team, Aramco Racing Team VR46, will be in MotoGP next year. The announcements of the signing of a five-year agreement for participation in the MotoGP World Championship between VR46 and Dorna Sports and of a three-year contract with Ducati have arrived.
Aramco Racing Team VR46 will be a Satellite Team of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer with two bikes lined up on the starting grid for the 2022 season. Pablo Nieto, linked to the young talents of the VR46 Riders Academy and Sky Racing Team VR46 in Moto3 and Moto2 since 2015, has been promoted to the leadership of the MotoGP team, in the role of Team Manager.
The agreement consolidates the partnership between VR46 and Tanal Entertainment Sport & Media, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco and is part of Tanal Entertainment Sport&Media's investment plans related to Saudi Vision 2030. These include major urban projects linked to the KSA New Cities brand, research and avant-garde technology with the involvement of MAIC Technologies, KMHG and other international partners and projects aimed at sustainability also in the Motorsport sector.
Alessio Salucci, VR46 Riders Academy, declared: "We are happy to announce that in 2022 we will race in MotoGP with a Team of two riders in the colours of the VR46. A journey that began just over eight years ago with the beginning of the VR46 Riders Academy, a beautiful adventure shared with Sky, a long and demanding journey, but full of satisfactions and which makes us very proud. This milestone has a truly unique meaning, but it is not a point of arrival. Year after year, since 2013, we have grown, we have managed to write some beautiful pages of our sport between Moto3 and Moto2 and we have crossed our path with many young talents of Italian motorcycling that we have had the privilege of being able to support in their growth path and that we will continue to support from the lower classes up to MotoGP key moment in our history that would not have been possible without Carmelo Ezpeleta, who has always believed in this project, and to Ducati for the trust it has placed in us roped for the future".
Carmelo Ezpeleta, Dorna Sports CEO, commented: "Having the pleasure of welcoming the VR46 Team to the MotoGP category in 2022 is exciting for both fans worldwide and for the MotoGP paddock, who have followed Valentino Rossi’s incredible career and the growth of the VR46 Riders Academy from the beginning. Valentino is and will continue to be a very important part of the FIM MotoGP World Championship and now, with his Team arriving to the MotoGP class, his stunning legacy will continue to inspire new generations of riders and fans. We welcome them to the Premier Class and look forward to many great achievements in the future”.
Luigi Dall’Igna, General Manager Ducati Corse, added: “We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with VR46 for the next three years. The VR46 Riders Academy has always worked seriously and with great professionalism, giving many riders the opportunity to gain experience in Moto2 and Moto3, and today it can be proud to have brought three very talented young riders to MotoGP. VR46 has also shown that it knows how to manage its Team in Moto3 and Moto2 with competence and success and therefore we will strive to provide maximum technical support to their new Team in MotoGP, convinced that in VR46 we have found an ambitious and motivated partner like us, with the common goal of obtaining great results together ".
HRH Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah bin Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, concluded: "In order to communicate the beauty of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, from our millennial history to the great projects that have been announced for the next few years, we have chosen VR46 for a five-year joint venture as our strategic partner to compete as protagonists in the MotoGP World Championship organized by Dorna Sports. The agreement just signed between the Team and Ducati for the supply of motorcycles for the 2022-2024 seasons is certainly a very positive news. Ducati is a very professional and valued company both in Italy and abroad as well as having demonstrated incredible competitiveness. It would be fantastic for me if Valentino Rossi could compete in the next few years as a rider in our Aramco Racing Team VR46 together with his brother Luca Marini who already this year competes with the sponsorship of our brands KSA New Cities, MAIC Technologies, TANAL Entertainment Sport&Media. In the coming days, TANAL Entertainment Sport&Media and Aramco will announce from Saudi Arabia a collaboration in International Motorsport projects and details of the project with VR46 in the MotoGP and Moto2 World Championships with the hope of being able to extend the presence in the World Championship which represents a fantastic show to train the next generation riders, including the Saudi Arabia ones".