VR46 team will be racing in MotoGP with Saudi support from 2022

On Wednesday, Tanal Entertainment Sport & Media, a holding company of Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Suad, announced that it had reached an agreement with the VR46 team from 2022.

Supported by Saudi Aramco as the main sponsor, the VR46 team will compete in MotoGP from 2022 to 2026.

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

The VR46 organization has yet to make an official statement.

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

Rossi’s team has long been expected to join the MotoGP grid from 2022 and take over the starting grid of the Avintia squad, who confirmed last year that 2021 would be the final season in the premier class.

That move was further reinforced when Ducati announced it had signed Rossi’s half-brother Luca Marini to join Avintia for the 2021 season with a Desmosedici backed by VR46.

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It remains unclear which manufacturer VR46 will merge with in 2022.

Motorsport.com believes Suzuki will be preferred, but the Japanese brand has yet to publicly cement plans to use two more GSX-RRs from 2022.

Ducati recently confirmed to Motorsport.com that it plans to continue riding six bikes despite Avintia’s departure in 2022, and is on the verge of a deal with Gresini, which will return to independent status in 2022 after Aprilia joined the factory in 2015.

Rossi’s right-hand man Uccio Salucci said earlier this year that VR46’s “heart” lies with Yamaha: “We don’t know which bike we will ride to MotoGP, [but] Of course, we all know that our heart lies with Yamaha. “

Yamaha’s current contract with Petronas SRT expires in late 2021. Yamaha CEO Lin Jarvis admitted earlier this year that talks for a satellite partner for next season will likely be between SRT and VR46.

It’s also unclear what a VR46 team will mean for Rossi’s own racing career in 2022. The nine-time Grand Prix World Champion wants to continue.

However, SRT boss Razlan Razali noted earlier this year that Rossi has performance criteria in his contract that he must meet before talks can begin with Yamaha on 2022.

Rossi is currently 19th overall after the first three rounds in 2021 after scoring just four points.