VR46 is still making headway on the “very slow” Aramco MotoGP deal

Valentino Rossi will bring his VR46 team full-time into MotoGP from 2022, using Ducati machines for Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.

But the making of the premier class outfit has been plagued by controversy over its title sponsorship, which was originally announced in April as Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco – something announced by Tanal Entertainment.

Since then, however, Aramco has made two statements to Autosport denying any involvement in VR46 and Tanal Entertainment – with the company’s CEO saying so during meetings at the Dutch TT in June.

When asked by Autosport during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend what the current situation is about VR46’s deal with Aramco, Nieto said: “As you know, we have made this agreement with Aramco in the past.

“Things are going very, very slowly, but we are on our way.

“That is the most important thing, we have to keep working and at the moment I can tell you that we are working on it.

“There are some delays but we are on our way and we are still working.”

Aramco branding at Imola

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

VR46 has not yet made an official announcement about the signing of Bezzecchi from Moto2 and deliberately refrained from making any statements last weekend in order to keep Rossi’s last MotoGP tour in Italy in the spotlight.

“We are happy because in the end we will come from scratch with our own team,” added Nieto.

“We’re starting a really, really nice project. As everyone knows, we already know the drivers, but this weekend is an important one for us, for the family, because it’s Valentino’s weekend.

“Well, we don’t want to say anything about that [2022 rider line-up].

“But everyone knows the riders who will be in MotoGP and Moto2.

“We have to learn to improve because it is a new challenge for us. But I think we have very good support from Ducati, we come here to do very good things. ”