Yamaha, Ducati or elsewhere? VR46 team boss makes pick and pleas for quick deal

Uccio Salucci has named his preference between Ducati, Yamaha or another landing spot for VR46's future

The VR46 2024 livery
The VR46 2024 livery

Uccio Salucci wants VR46 to commit to Ducati long-term and hopes to sign before the MotoGP season starts.

Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP team are contracted with Ducati for this year but could go elsewhere afterwards, and have been in talks with other manufacturers.

Rossi’s personal links with Yamaha (and the Japanese brand’s desire to run more than two bikes next year) have made them a logical landing spot.

But Rossi’s right-hand man and the VR46 team boss Salucci wants to activate a clause in their current contract to stay put.

“We have, already, the option with Ducati for 2025 and 2026,” Salucci said.

“Now, this moment, is very important. These 10 or 15 days, to try to understand what will happen in ‘25 and ‘26.

“My direction is to continue with Ducati.

“My dream is to sign the contract before Qatar because I want to stay quiet, I want to prepare this year very good.

“For that, we need to sign now with Ducati, because it is better.

“But, anyway, we’ll see what will happen…”

The Qatar shakedown is on February 19 leaving VR46 three-and-a-half weeks to meet Salucci’s preferred deadline.

The season begins in Qatar on March 8.

Previously, Salucci told GPOne: “I’ve spoken to everyone, I’m not ashamed to say it, with Ducati, with KTM, with Yamaha.”

KTM are also determined to run extra bikes in 2025 and have been vocal about taking over one of the existing satellite teams.

But, Ducati may remain the place to be. This year, VR46 will again run year-old Desmosedicis.

Luca Marini has left for Repsol Honda, so Marco Bezzecchi will be joined by new teammate Fabio di Giannantonio.

Di Giannantonio, while from Italy, is not a product of Rossi’s VR46 Academy so his arrival is somewhat of a new path for the team.

Salucci said after the team’s unveiling: “I am very happy about the livery, I like the yellow!

“We have a new rider next year, Di Giannantonio. I am very happy with him.

“We already did a test with him in Valencia last year. He was very fast.

“I like, also, that he is a good guy. He arrives in our team, but he arrives quietly.

“He already has good support from everybody, he likes everybody.

I am very happy. Now we will see in Malaysia…”

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