Rossi's brother Marini joins Avintia for 2021 MotoGP season with Bastianini

Valentino Rossi's half-brother Luca Marini will step up to MotoGP in 2021 alongside Enea Bastianini at Avintia after signing directly with Ducati

Rossi's brother Marini joins Avintia for 2021 MotoGP season with Bastianini

Erstwhile Moto2 championship leader Marini, who races for Rossi's VR46 team in the intermediate class and has won three times this year, has been linked to the second Avintia seat for some time.

Bastianini confirmed he'd signed for Ducati in September at Misano, with it all but confirmed at the time it would be with Avintia.

The 2014 Moto2 champion Tito Rabat does have a contract with Avintia for 2021, but his place was never assured, with it looking more under threat as discussions between the team and VR46 intensified in the weeks following the Misano rounds.

On Saturday at the European Grand Prix, Ducati officially completed its 2021 roster of riders with the announcement of the signing of Marini and Bastianini.

"Having the great opportunity to race in MotoGP in 2021 is a dream and the wish that all riders have since they were little," Marini said.

"In these years with the Sky Racing Team VR46 I have accumulated a lot of experience and thanks to them I have grown and achieved my first important results."

Bastianini added: "Racing in MotoGP is a dream, and I am very happy to be able to do it with Ducati, a brand of which I have been a great fan since the days of my idol Casey Stoner."

Current Pramac duo Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia will step up to the factory squad to replace Andrea Dovizioso and Tech3-bound Danilo Petrucci.

At Pramac, Johann Zarco will step up from Avintia alongside rookie Jorge Martin - both of whom riding current-spec factory machinery.

Bastianini is currently seven points off Moto2 championship leader and ex-Aprilia MotoGP rider Sam Lowes with three rounds to go, while Marini is 23 back after a tough France/Aragon triple-header.

Martin's Moto2 title hopes were dashed in September when he was forced to miss the Misano double-header after catching COVID-19.

The firming up of Avintia's line-up means there is just one more seat left vacant on the 2021 grid, at Aprilia alongside Aleix Espargaro.

Aprilia is awaiting the verdict from the Court of Arbitration of Sport hearing on overturning Andrea Iannone's 18-month doping ban, which is expected within the next 10 days.

The Italian marque has repeated its desire publicly to retain Iannone, but it is understood outgoing LCR rider Cal Crutchlow has a pre-agreement in place with Aprilia for 2021.

Last week Jorge Lorenzo confirmed joining Aprilia as a test rider was an option for 2021, and looks set to be replace at Yamaha by Dovizioso - as first reported by Autosport.

Avintia's future beyond 2021 - when the current agreement between the independent teams and promoter Dorna Sports expires - looks uncertain, as rumours suggest VR46 could take over those grid slots in 2022.

VR46 has confirmed Marini will ride in the team's colours at Avintia next year.

shares
comments
Gerloff: Rossi thanked me for looking after his Yamaha MotoGP bike

Previous article

Gerloff: Rossi thanked me for looking after his Yamaha MotoGP bike

Next article

European MotoGP: Espargaro pips Rins to pole as Quartararo struggles

European MotoGP: Espargaro pips Rins to pole as Quartararo struggles
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi , Luca Marini , Enea Bastianini
Teams AB Motoracing , Avintia Racing
Author Lewis Duncan
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Plus

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Plus

How Yamaha’s rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021, having stormed to victory at a venue where he last year served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha’s factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend has revealed one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Plus

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021