Avintia Racing manager Ruben Xaus has for the first time admitted the team is considering its options having now received a formal  approach from Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Sky Italia team over the prospect of assuming its 2021 MotoGP entry.

Rumours regarding Avintia Racing’s future have been snowballing in recent weeks amid talk both VR46 Sky Italia and Leopard Racing were angling for a MotoGP entry next season. Though Avintia was quick to shut down the talk initially, the speculation has intensified this French MotoGP weekend.

Now rider-turned-manager Xaus has confirmed Avintia boss Raul Romero is indeed considering stepping out of MotoGP, recognising that though the team is in the midst of its best MotoGP season yet, it doesn’t have the resources to rival a grid of not only manufacturer entries, but now a bevy of well-backed satellite outfits too.

“It has been three months since rumours [started],” Xaus told Simon Crafar during his pit-lane roving spots during FP3.” When I came here to help Raul [Romero] two years ago, I saw many things I didn’t like and I said ‘if you want my help, I need to be strong and be inside the box’ to create a different situation. 

“Now the team has been on the podium and we’ve seen it is difficult to renew those places because we don’t have a big budget so it’s [possibly] time to move apart and give the keys to someone else.

“Raul sees that, he has a good life in Andorra, so we offered the situation to the organisers, to investors and it seems the approach of somebody else is there and the possibility is on the table. Now we just need to check who and how [inaudible due to background noise].”

At the heart of the talk is a bid to ensure Luca Marini - Rossi’s brother and current Moto2 World Championship leader - lands one of the Ducati seats Avinita Racing would enter in 2021. 

However, that would always hinge on Tito Rabat standing down from his contract - which he has intimated he may do anyway - as Enea Bastianini has all but confirmed himself on the other Ducati.

Nonetheless, should VR46 Sky Italia take on the entry entirely, Marini would be guaranteed a place, meaning it would give Rossi at least one season of competing against his own operation, as well as three VR46 alumni in Marini, Franco Morbidelli and Pecco Bagnaia.

It would however mark a poignant end of the MotoGP road for Avintia Racing, which entered the series under the CRT rules back in 2012.

Surviving as other similarly minnow outfits fell by the wayside, by 2019 it was the sole remaining privateer entry that had to buy its own machines. That changes in 2020 with the arrival of Ducati=binded Johann Zarco, the Frenchman going on to shock with Avintia’s first MotoGP pole and podium in Brno.

Unfortunately, the team still operates on a fraction of the budget of those around it, so it seems the time might be right for it to bow out on a high.