Valentino Rossi and VR46 have some big MotoGP decisions to make in the early stages of the 2021 season.

The first concerns the future of Rossi's legendary career, having signed only a one-year Yamaha contract to join the satellite Petronas team.

"It will depend a lot on the races, after 6-7 GPs we will see if [Rossi] is having fun and how competitive he is, at which point we will make a choice," VR46 Riders Academy and Sky Racing Team VR46 director Alessio 'Uccio' Salucci told SkySport.it.

The second big decision will be whether VR46, which is dipping its toe into MotoGP team management by helping run Rossi's younger brother Luca Marini at Avintia Ducati this season, decides to enter the premier-class with its own project in 2022.

Marini is the third VR46 Academy rider to reach MotoGP, after Franco Morbidelli and Francesco Bagnaia, with the team's Moto2 riders Marco Bezzecchi and Celestino Vietti next in line.

"Our [VR46] guys have grown faster than expected, the time has come to think about making a team in MotoGP," Salucci confirmed.

"The road is long, the step to take is also important from an economic point of view , we are facing important months.

"We don't know which bike to go to MotoGP with, for sure we all know that our heart is with Yamaha."

Yamaha's current contract with Petronas expires this season (which was the main reason cited for only offering Rossi a one-year deal) but both parties seem confident of an extension.

However that would still leave the possibility of VR46 acquiring Suzuki machines, for example, with the reigning world champions still seeking a satellite partner. Aprilia is also yet to find a customer team.

Nine-time world champion Rossi has finished on the MotoGP podium at least once per season since his 2000 debut, but hasn't' won a race since Assen 2017.

If VR46 - which is dropping its Moto3 project to concentrate on Moto2 and Marini this season - does enter MotoGP in 2022, and Rossi wishes to race on, it would not be beyond the realms of possibilty that The Doctor could be one of its riders.

Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar – January Update

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

28 March

Qatar (Evening race)

Losail

2

4 April

Doha (Evening race)

Losail

3

18 April

Portugal

Portimao

4

2 May

Spain

Jerez

5

16 May

France

Le Mans

6

30 May

Italy

Mugello

7

6 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

8

20 June

Germany

Sachsenring

9

27 June

Netherlands

Assen

10

11 July

Finland (Subject to homologation)

KymiRing

11

15 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

12

29 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

13

12 September

Aragon

Aragon

14

19 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

15

3 October

Japan

Motegi

16

10 October

Thailand

Buriram

17

24 October

Australia

Phillip Island

18

31 October

Malaysia

Sepang

19

14 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo

Postponed Grands Prix:
 11 AprilArgentinaTermas
 18 AprilAmericasCOTA
Reserve Grand Prix Venues:
  Indonesia (Subject to homologation)Mandalika
  RussiaIgora Drive
2021 Pre-season Testing:
 5 MarchQatar Shakedown TestLosail
 6-7 MarchQatar Official TestLosail
 10-12 MarchQatar Official TestLosail