Valentino Rossi chooses Bagnaia for his VR46 team's Moto2 move
Moto3 race winner Francesco Bagnaia will return to Valentino Rossi's junior squad next year when it moves up to Moto2
The Italian is currently fourth in the Moto3 standings, having claimed his maiden victory at Assen in June, which was also a breakthrough result for Mahindra.
He raced with Rossi's VR46 team in his second season in Moto3 in 2014, finishing 16th in the championship with a best race result of fourth at Le Mans.
While Bagnaia moved to to the Aspar-run Mahindra project last year, he has remained part of Rossi's young rider academy.
"I am happy to be able to reach another milestone of my career at Sky Racing Team VR46," the 19-year-old said.
"Moving to Moto2 is a great opportunity for growth.
"I am proud to be able to face this new challenge with a team that for me is like a family."
Bagnaia is the first rider signed by VR46 for its maiden Moto2 campaign, while the team is yet to confirm which chassis it will run.
The lead bike had been earmarked for Romano Fenati, but he has now split from the team after being suspended last weekend in Austria.
"We will continue in Moto3 with two KTM machines, and we will redouble our efforts - in the intermediate category of the world championship," team manager Pablo Nieto said.
"The line-up of the Moto2 team will be completed later, but we are happy to have Francesco Bagnaia back with us once again.
"After the interruption of the relationship between the team and Romano Fenati, we have decided to continue with our initial project of two Moto2 machines.
"We will take a few weeks to decide who will join Bagnaia in this new challenge.
"We're motivated to accompany 'Pecco' in this change of category and will put all of our commitment and professionalism into the project."
From the British Grand Prix next month, Lorenzo Dalla Porta - already signed to race with Mahindra in Moto3 in 2017 - will replace Fenati in VR46's Moto3 line-up.
MotoGP releases report into Luis Salom's fatal Moto2 crash
Zarco penalised for British GP clash with Moto2 title rival Lowes
Filipe Albuquerque admits that he knew it would be a tall order for Wayne Taylor Racing to overcome sister Acura squad Meyer Shank Racing in last weekend's Daytona 24 Hours.
After much anticipation, the new dawn for sportscar racing got underway with a result that mirrored last year's IMSA SportsCar Championship's season-opener run to the previous DPi rules. Here's how Acura once again took top honours in the Daytona 24 Hours with a 1-2 led by Meyer Shank Racing, as the new GTP class for LMDh hybrid prototypes made its bow
Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Lance Stroll says Fernando Alonso's pushy nature will be a boost to both him and the squad this year.
Porsche’s director of factory racing Urs Kuratle says his team will gain valuable answers from its disappointing results in the Daytona 24 Hours.
Subscribe and access Autosport.com with your ad-blocker.
From Formula 1 to MotoGP we report straight from the paddock because we love our sport, just like you. In order to keep delivering our expert journalism, our website uses advertising. Still, we want to give you the opportunity to enjoy an ad-free and tracker-free website and to continue using your adblocker.
You have 2 options:
- Become a subscriber.
- Disable your adblocker.