Former 125cc world champion Roberto Locatelli is among the myriad of ex-riders that have been recruited for coaching duties to help the current generation of grand prix stars.

In Locatelli's case it's at VR46, which he joined in 2019 as a coach for the Riders Academy when Idalio Gavira took over from Luca Cadalora as Valentino Rossi’s rider coach.

Loca, who took his world title in 2000 and spend a total of 15 years in the 125 and 250cc classes, now also assists the VR46 Moto2 and MotoGP competitor's trackside at race weekends.

"First of all, Loca is a great person, so he's fantastic to spend time with him," said VR46 MotoGP rider Luca Marini. "And he was a fantastic rider. I remember when I was younger I was a fan of Locatelli and it's great now to have the opportunity to work with him.

"We've grown a lot together because I tried to give him the best advice for doing his job in the best way and also his work for me is very important.

"In every practice he is there trying to give me the correct advice and trying to understand where I have to improve with my riding style. But also where we are missing something with the bike. That's a very important part of this job also.

"So having an eye around the track that can follow you and understand where you're missing something compared to the other riders is very important and also he can give very good help to the engineers by trying to add to my feedback and help make the correct decision to change the bike during the weekend.

"Because the time is very short. You don’t have so many opportunities to change the bike. Overall he's a very important person for me."

Locatelli is set tobe even busier next season when VR46 expands to a full two-rider Ducati MotoGP entry, alongside it's Moto2 project.