The news that VR46 will have its own MotoGP entry from 2022 has major implications for current Esponsorama (Avintia) Ducati riders Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini.

Valentino Rossi's younger brother Marini is already run by VR46, within the Esponsorama garage, and - unless he gets a more competitive offer - the young Italian thus looks on course to be one of the VR46 MotoGP riders next season.

"I want to say congratulations to my brother and all VR46 because they did a very great job in these years. They improved a lot from where they started, so it's a very incredible thing, I think, to have a team in MotoGP," said Marini.

"It's a very beautiful project, very interesting, and let's see how it develops and how it will work next year. Unfortunately I don't know the details, I didn't speak with Vale or Uccio or the other crew of VR46, so I don't have any information.

"But it's something that makes me happy, and just they did a very good job. I hope that they can achieve very good results in the future, and can be a very good team for the future."

But while Marini's future appears tied to VR46, team-mate Bastianini is more dependent on Ducati.

That means if VR46, which is expected to effectively take over the Esponsorama grid places, also takes on the Desmosedicis, Bastianini could well remain alongside Marini next year.

But if VR46 choses another brand - Rossi admitting they are speaking with "Aprilia, Yamaha, Ducati, Suzuki also" - Bastianini would likely be placed at another Ducati team.

Ducati is unique in supplying machines to two Independent teams in addition to its Factory squad, with Pramac running the latest GP21 bikes and Esponsorama GP19s.

The Italian manufacturer is eager to maintain the six-bike line-up and, in addition to VR46, is known to be in talks with Gresini, which is reverting to Independent status following the end of the Factory Aprilia partnership.

"I think VR46 and also Gresini are near to close [a deal] with Ducati and I don’t know for the moment what my position is for the future," Bastianini said.

"But we will see. I think in one or two races it'll be more definite.

"I think I can ride again a Ducati [in 2022], probably. I like a lot this bike and I think my future is with Ducati, but which team for the moment I don’t know."

If Ducati goes to Gresini, Bastianini might find himself alongside Fabio di Giannantonio, who has a 2022 premier-class seat in place as part of his current Moto2 deal.

Following injuries for Pramac podium finisher Jorge Martin, Bastianini now leads the MotoGP Rookie of the Year standings on 18 points. Marini has scored four points so far, all from a twelfth place finish last time in Portimao.

Ducati - which provides factory engineers for the Esponsorama riders - declined to comment on any contractual options it has with Bastianini and Marini for 2022.

 

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