Rossi confident in VR46’s MotoGP move despite sponsor confusion

Earlier this year, a group from Saudi Arabia, led by Prince Abdul Aziz known as Tanal Entertainment, announced that they had struck a deal with VR46 and oil giant Aramco to bring Rossi’s team to MotoGP from 2022.

However, Aramco later made a statement to Autosport that there was no such title sponsorship deal – something that was repeated in June after Aramco’s CEO held several meetings in the MotoGP paddock in Assen to reiterate this.

Tanal Entertainment and the Prince have always insisted that a deal be struck, and Rossi has said on a number of occasions that he trusts everything to be sorted out.

But apart from the collaboration between VR46 and Ducati for 2022, the rider line-up and title partnership have yet to be officially confirmed.

When asked on Friday at the San Marino Grand Prix when such an announcement is likely to be made, Rossi said, “I think we’ll do the team next year, yes, but I don’t know when it will be official.”

Insecurity dominated Rossi’s MotoGP last season and he admits the constant questions about it were “a distraction” to his performances.

When asked by Autosport if the VR46 saga cast a shadow over the year, Rossi said, “For me, the biggest distraction is answering all of your questions about the team.

“It’s difficult for me because I lose a lot of time and try to focus on myself as a driver, but I have to answer a lot of questions about my team for next year.

“But to be honest, I don’t know very well. I try to give my support but I focus a lot on the rest.

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I’m not the type that understands the last update on my team for next year just because I’m not following it directly, because I have to focus on driving.

“I’ve said this 20 times, but you keep asking the same question. I always try to tell you what I know, but like I said, I don’t have the latest news. “

On Friday, Autosport reported that Yamaha are considering switching to Moto2 next year to build a talent development outfit for future MotoGP riders.

Rossi currently runs a team in the CEV Moto2 Championship with Yamaha and has confirmed that he has spoken to the Japanese brand about their Moto2 World Championship plans – but he doesn’t know how likely a partnership is at this point.

“The situation in Moto2 is not yet very clear for next year,” said Rossi.

“The situation is that it was two or three years ago at Yamaha [we have a team] in the CEV championship, and we have a good organization to help the young Yamaha riders, mainly from Asia, improve.

“I spoke to Lin [Jarvis, Yamaha boss], you want im. arrive [Moto2] World Championship in MotoGP.

“So we speak because we’ve been together for two or three years.

“But I don’t know what will happen if we do the project together. I don’t know well, but the current situation is like that.

“It is possible, but I don’t know.”