Rossi has spoken to Yamaha about VR46 MotoGP team

Team VR46’s Moto2 championship leader, Luca Marini

Valentino Rossi has had talks with Yamaha about his VR46 team entering MotoGP, although he is unsure if it is the right move for the squad.

Rossi will leave Yamaha’s factory team at season’s end but will remain a factory-contracted rider when he continues his career for at least one year more, at the Sepang Racing Team (SRT).

Team VR46 competes in the junior classes and its Moto2 riders are currently vying for the title, with Luca Marini first in the championship and Marco Bezzecchi third.

It has previously been given an open invitation by Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta to join the premier class and Herve Poncharal, Team Principal of then-Yamaha satellite outfit Tech3, claimed that the Japanese marque would pick VR46 over his own team if such an offer was taken up.

A logical time to enter would be 2022, when the next team participation cycle begins, although Rossi is hesitant.

“It’s a bit early… but at the end of 2021, MotoGP changes for 2022 and maybe we can have an occasion to make a VR46 team in MotoGP but it’s really early,” said the seven-time premier class champion.

“It is not easy because the organisation, the size is good for Moto3 and Moto2 but for MotoGP it is a big step. Sincerely I don’t know…

“As for the bikes though, Yamaha, why not? We have already spoken to Lin (Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director), but before we have to decide whether we do the team or whether we continue in Moto3 and Moto2.”

The wider VR46 Academy can now count itself as having produced a MotoGP race winner after Franco Morbidelli won the San Marino Grand Prix last month with SRT.

Furthermore, the runner-up that day, Pramac Racing’s Francesco Bagnaia, is a championship winner with Team VR46 having collected the Moto2 title in 2018.

Rossi and Morbidelli will be team-mates next year given the latter has signed on for two more years with the satellite Yamaha team, while Fabio Quartararo joins incumbent Maverick Viñales at the works squad.

The current season resumes next weekend at Le Mans.

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