Marco Bezzecchi and Luca Marini currently comprise the Mooney VR46 team, while their fellow academy graduate Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP champion last season with Ducati, and Franco Morbidelli is with Yamaha.

“The boys became big and strong,” Uccio Salucci said last year when explaining why Rossi’s academy would shift focus to its elite riders rather than bringing in new starlets.

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But the Mooney VR46 team, a Ducati satellite team who Yamaha have expressed an interest in acquiring, are in part on the MotoGP grid to develop riders like Bezzecchi and Marini for a factory seat.

“If they went to another team it could just be a factory team, or they would stay with us, so our goal is achieved,” team manager Salucci said ahead of the 2023 season.

“It would be good for them and for us - our goal as a satellite team would be achieved.”

So what, then, if Bezzecchi and Marini do earn call-ups? With no fresh talent being developed in the VR46 Academy, what would happen to Rossi’s MotoGP team?

“We hope that Celestino Vietti deserves to get into MotoGP,” Salucci said. “In my opinion he will succeed, he will be our next candidate.”

Vietti, 21, is entering his second year in Moto2 after finishing seventh last season. He previously partnered with Bezzecchi in Moto2.

“Then, when there are no more academy riders, we will look around,” Salucci said.

“The team will move forwards.”

It means if Rossi’s MotoGP team is to thrive in the future, they may have to look outside of Italy for ambitious and talented riders - a major break in tradition for VR46 so far.

Salucci paid tribute to his two riders this season: “Marco is instinctive. He slams the settings and the tyres and always gives 110%.

“Luca takes longer to put things together but, when he succeeds, he’s a machine. I’ve known him since he was in his mother’s belly but this characteristic impressed me from when he was in Moto2.

“It took time to fix everything but then he understood, and kept doing it.

“Bezzecchi should sometimes be calmer. In today’s MotoGP, talent is not enough. Sometimes he’s in too much of a hurry, he goes fast but does not collect everything that he should.

“Sometimes Marini gets nervous and loses concentration on things that don’t deserve it, like a suit that’s a little too tight or a tyre that doesn’t work. We have to calm him down.”