VR46 team to race in MotoGP from 2022 with Saudi backing

Valentino Rossi’s VR46 squad will step up to MotoGP properly in 2022 and will be backed by Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco.

On Wednesday Tanal Entertainment Sport & Media, which is a holding company of Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Suad, announced it had struck an agreement with the VR46 Team beginning in 2022.

Backed by Saudi Aramco as its main sponsor, the VR46 outfit will race in MotoGP from 2022 to 2026.

The partnership also hopes to build a communication strategy between VR46 and Tanal Entertainment Sport & Media to promote the Saudi Vision 2030 project.

The VR46 organisation is yet to make any official statement.

The Tanal Entertainment press release also confirms the VR46 team will continue to operate in the Moto2 class in 2022.

Rossi's team has been long-expected to join the MotoGP grid from 2022, taking the grid slots of the Avintia squad, who confirmed last year 2021 would be its last season in the premier class.

This move was further-boosted when Ducati announced it had signed Rossi's half-brother Luca Marini to join Avintia for the 2021 season on a VR46-backed Desmosedici.

Read Also:

It remains unclear which manufacturer VR46 will join forces with in 2022.

Motorsport.com understands its preference is Suzuki, but the Japanese marque is yet to publicly firm up any plans to field two more GSX-RR's from 2022.

Ducati recently confirmed to Motorsport.com that it planned to continue running six bikes in 2022 despite Avintia's departure, and is understood to be close to a deal with Gresini – who will return to independent status in 2022 having run Aprilia's factory entry since 2015.

Rossi's right-hand man Uccio Salucci said earlier in the year that VR46's "heart" lies with Yamaha: "We don't know which bike we will go to MotoGP with, [but] for sure we all know that our heart is with Yamaha."

Yamaha's current deal with Petronas SRT expires at the end of 2021, with Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis admitting earlier this year that discussions for a satellite partner for next season will likely be between SRT and VR46.

It's also unclear what a VR46 team in 2022 means for Rossi's own racing career, with the nine-time grand prix world champion keen to continue.

However, SRT boss Razlan Razali noted earlier this year that Rossi has performance criteria in his contract he must meet before any discussions about 2022 with Yamaha can be had.

Rossi is currently 19th in the standings after the first three rounds in 2021 having scored just four points.

shares
comments

Related video

Rins "not an idiot" in Portugal MotoGP lead crash
Previous article

Rins "not an idiot" in Portugal MotoGP lead crash

Next article

2021 MotoGP Spanish GP – How to watch, session times & more

2021 MotoGP Spanish GP – How to watch, session times & more
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021