The brand new Aramco Racing Team VR46 have just signed a deal with Ducati to run a two-rider team in MotoGP from 2022 to 2024. The Tavullia based team have yet to officially announce who their riders will be, but I’d put my money on Luca Marini (Valentino’s half-brother) retaining his VR46 MotoGP seat.
But who’s going to occupy the second seat? Will it be Valentino? Will they pluck someone out of Moto2? Someone from the VR46 Riders Academy? Because there are a lot of people that would suggest Valentino’s at ‘that’ stage in his career. His current results certainly don’t reflect his legendary status. Perhaps he’d be better placed as a team manager for the new MotoGP team.
But that’s not going to happen. Because Pablo Nieto, current manager of SKY Racing team VR46 in Moto2 and Moto3 is getting a promotion. He’ll be in charge of the MotoGP setup, not Valentino.
So will Vale a ride Ducati alongside his brother? Well I’m sure the idea of it would make the sponsors happy. But I can’t see The GOAT having a particularly successful season riding one. He tried racing a Ducati ten years ago and didn’t really gel with it. I know they’re different now but I can’t help thinking back to 2011; Rossi’s first winless season since he started in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
I’m a big Valentino Rossi fan so I don’t like seeing him running around at the back, scrapping for a point or two every round. I’d rather see him being successful as a team manager or a crew chief, nurturing the talents of a younger rider. A rider a at the beginning of his career, not at the end of it.
But whoever’s riding the bikes, we’ll be seeing the VR46 logo for at least another five years on MotoGP grids. And for the next three, at least, it’ll be on the side off Ducatis.
You can rest assured there’ll be plenty of people that want to race the Aramco Racing Team VR46 Ducati. I’m looking forward to finding out who they choose. Who’s your money on?