Valentino Rossi’s VR46 ink Ducati deal from 2022

Valentino Rossi steers his motorbike during the first practice session ahead of the German motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sachsenring racing circuit in Hohenstein-Ernstthal near Chemnitz, eastern Germany, June 18, 2021. — AFP pic
Valentino Rossi steers his motorbike during the first practice session ahead of the German motorcycle Grand Prix at the Sachsenring racing circuit in Hohenstein-Ernstthal near Chemnitz, eastern Germany, June 18, 2021. — AFP pic

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ASSEN (Netherlands), June 24 — Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi and his VR46 team have inked a three-year deal with Ducati for 2022-2024, his team announced today.

The team will race under the name “Aramco Racing Team VR46”, to include mention of the Saudi oil giant, who are involved as part of the kingdom’s Vision 2030 framework to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil and diversify its economy in part through sport and entertainment.

VR46 already had shown their commitment to the category with a five-year accord running to 2026 with promotor Dorna Sports.

Rossi, now 42, has not made a podium to date this season, with a best position of tenth 12 years on from the last of his top category crowns.

With an eye to bringing on future stars he has founded the VR46 Riders Academy, set up in 2013 to bring on young Italian talent including, for MotoGP, 23-year-old hope Luca Marini. — AFP

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