Rossi's new VR46 team to race in MotoGP with Ducati bikes

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP - French Grand Prix - Circuit Bugatti, Le Mans, France - October 10, 2020 Monster Energy Yamaha's Valentino Rossi before qualifying REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

(Reuters) - Valentino Rossi's new Saudi-backed Aramco VR46 team will compete in MotoGP next year in a three-year deal with Ducati, both parties announced on Thursday, but the Italian great looks unlikely to be racing.

The team have yet to announce their riders, with 42-year-old nine-times world champion Rossi saying on Thursday it would be "very difficult" for him to ride for them despite the hopes of the title sponsor.

Rossi's half-brother Luca Marini looks to be in the frame, however.

Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al Saud said in a statement ahead of the Dutch TT that a five-year deal had been agreed to sponsor the team.

"It would be great for me that Valentino Rossi can compete in the next few years as a pilot of our Aramco Racing Team VR46 together with his brother Luca Marini," he added.

Rossi is racing for Petronas Yamaha but mulling his future beyond this year.

"I have still not decided because I will think more deeply during this break," he said.

"I also have to speak with Yamaha and the team...the start of this season until now under this point of view was not fantastic, so I think it will be very difficult that I will race also next year.

"Always the prince pushes on me to race in my team next year with the Ducati, but at the moment I think it will be very difficult."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Others

Mask makers hail para athletes for triumph in the face of adversity
Wei Lun sets his sights on making it to France Paralympics 2024
Sport-Charity launches campaign to tackle dementia on World Alzheimer's Day
Climbing-Boulder and Speed World Cup in Seoul cancelled due to COVID-19
Climbing-Global group apologises to Austrian climber for 'objectification' in broadcast
Triathlon-World sprint and relay championships in Bermuda cancelled due to COVID
Former StarSport journalist Ronnie gone, but not forgotten
Veteran sports writer Ronnie Oh breathes his last
Former Vikings OT Steve Riley dies at 68
Six-time Pro Bowl DT Roger Brown dies at 84

Stories You'll Enjoy