In 2022, it'll be red for the former boys in blue.
Rossi's VR46 team will be seeing a lot of red in the coming 2022 MotoGP season, as a partnership with Ducati has been inked. The deal will start in 2022, and last all the way to 2024, spanning a three-year period.
Yamaha didn't go down without vying for the deal, however, since the Japanese manufacturer allegedly offered VR46 a discounted rate for its bikes. The offer was even better than the one given to Petronas SRT, however, VR46 still chose to partner with Ducati.
Valentino Rossi has had a bit of history with the Italian marque, racing with them in the premier class in 2011 and 2012.
The team is also gearing up for the 2022 MotoGP season, and taking up Avintia's grid slots. The Spanish outfit is getting ready to depart MotoGP and will be doing so by the end of the 2021 season, having signed a five-year agreement with Dorna Sports.
Of course, the folks at Ducati are quite pleased with the outcome. Ducati's General manager, GigiDall'lgna said: "We are very pleased to have reached this agreement with VR46 for the next three years. Their Academy has always worked seriously and with great professionalism, giving many riders the opportunity to gain experience in Moto2 and Moto3, and today they can be proud to have brought three young riders of great talent. VR46 has also shown that it is able to competently manage a successful team in Moto3 and Moto2 and therefore we will strive to provide the maximum technical support to their new team in MotoGP, convinced they have found in VR46 an ambitious and motivated partner like us, with a common goal to achieve great results together."
Now that the VR46 team will be crossing over to team red, it's expected that Luca Marini will be seen on a factory-spec bike, while a 2021 Desmosedici will be made available for his teammate—likely Marco Bezzecchi.
Thanks to this deal, Ducati adds yet another team to its satellite factory squad, which includes the likes of Pramac, and Gresini Racing. This brings the total number of Ducati race bikes on the grid to eight—the first time since 2018.