Valentino Rossi reveals talks with Yamaha over VR46 MotoGP team

Valentino Rossi reveals talks about his VR46 team stepping up to MotoGP in partnership with Yamaha have taken place but doesn't expect it to happen soon
Valentino Rossi, helmet, Catalunya MotoGP race. 27 September 2020
Valentino Rossi, helmet, Catalunya MotoGP race. 27 September 2020
© Gold and Goose

Valentino Rossi has revealed talks have taken place between himself and Yamaha over the prospect of his VR46 project stepping up to the MotoGP World Championship in future, but admits it is ‘early’ to pursue plans right now.

Over the Catalunya MotoGP weekend Rossi was formally confirmed to be joining the Petronas SRT Yamaha squad for the 2021 MotoGP season, bringing a 15-season relationship with the Factory outfit to an end.

Though Rossi is enjoying a positive upturn in form with Yamaha this season, his move to Petronas SRT Yamaha - currently leading the standings with the rider replacing Rossi in a direct swap, Fabio Quartararo - is largely considered to beginning of the end of his extraordinary racing career, even if he maintains his one-year deal could be extended depending on results next season.



Even so, Rossi’s interests outside of his own personal fortunes are beginning to snowball too with his VR46 Academy set up having now produced its first MotoGP race winner in Franco Morbidelli, while the Sky Italia VR46 team is in the hunt for a second Moto2 title in three years.

With this in mind, there is a strong expectation Rossi will revert to a managerial role in future in tandem with the team stepping up to MotoGP.

Though Rossi lets slip the conversation has been brought up with Yamaha over potentially supporting such an endeavour and quotes 2022 - when the next contract for teams begins -, he’s coy as to when it could potentially happen.

“It’s a bit early… but at the end of 2021, MotoGP changes for 2022 and maybe we can have an occasion to make a VR46b team in MotoGP but it’s really early 

“It is not easy because the organisation, the size is good for Moto3 and Moto2 but for MotoGP it is a big step. Sincerely I don’t know… 

“As for the bikes though, Yamaha, why not? We have already spoken to Lin, but before we have to decide whether we do the team or whether we continue in Moto3 and Moto2.”

Despite the Yamaha talk, there had been rumours Sky Italia VR46 could make an earlier than expected MotoGP debut in 2021 by taking over Avintia Racing’s Ducati entry, though the Spanish team has moved to deny its entry is available.



On a smaller scale though it is known Rossi has spoken with the team over getting his Moto2-leading brother Luca Marini into MotoGP next season.

For now, Enea Bastianini and Tito Rabat are expected to be confirmed, but the latter has reportedly intimated he could break his own contract and leave MotoGP, paving the way for Marini to make his debut.

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