No “solution” for new Ducati-VR46 deal yet due to “economic” factor

Still no agreement between Ducati and VR46.... why?

Valentino Rossi, MotoGP tissot sprint race, Valencia MotoGP, 25 November
Valentino Rossi, MotoGP tissot sprint race, Valencia MotoGP, 25 November

Ducati and VR46 haven’t yet found common ground on a new contract due to financial reasons.

VR46’s current contract as a Ducati satellite team runs until the end of this year, but they have a clause which enables them to extend it for another two years.

The wishful deadline set by Uccio Salucci, the VR46 team boss, for before the Qatar MotoGP has already expired.

Mauro Grassilli, who replaced Paolo Ciabatti as Ducati sporting director this year, was asked if VR46 (who ride year-old bikes) are seeking an improved status.

“Pramac has exclusivity as a satellite structure that receives factory support,” Grassilli told Motorsport.

“We are talking to VR46 to expand our relationship.

“But it is not easy either because this agreement also has to fit into this new economic framework.

“We meet with them every week, but we have not yet found a solution.

“We know that they are talking to other manufacturers, as is normal, but we are in less of a hurry.”

Yamaha - who VR46 owner Valentino Rossi has a glorious personal history with, and is currently a brand ambassador for - are at the front of queue.

Ducati want to reduce their expenditure, including on rider salaries, in 2025 and beyond.

They have pinned down star rider Francesco Bagnaia on a long-term well-paid contract but might have to let other assets leave, as  a result.

Jorge Martin, the Pramac rider who has twice missed out on a promotion to the factory Ducati team, plans to quit the brand unless he wears red next year.

The decision over Martin’s future will be economical, as well as sporting.

“The management of Pramac, which is our first satellite team, and also that of the other independent teams, will change a little,” Grassilli said.

“The global economic situation forces us to be very careful in the amounts we allocate, both to the official team and to Pramac, which is the one that receives the greatest support from the factory.

“Now we are trying to get back to more sustainable figures.”

Where else could Martin go if he leaves Ducati?

“Jorge has monstrous potential and currently has a contract with Ducati [for 2025],” Grassilli said.

“At the end of the year most of the agreements expire, but given his talent it is obvious that he has many alternatives.

“He can go wherever he wants, but he has always said that his goal is the official team.”

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