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MotoGP Misano GP

VR46 still progressing on “very slow” Aramco MotoGP deal

VR46 team boss Pablo Nieto says the MotoGP squad is making progress with its Aramco title sponsorship for 2022, but “things are going very, very slow”.

Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Valentino Rossi will bring his VR46 team into MotoGP full-time from 2022 and will field Ducati machinery for Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi.

But the outfit’s genesis in the premier class has been plagued by controversy surrounding its title sponsorship, which was originally announced back in April as being Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco – something that was announced by Tanal Entertainment.

However, Aramco has issued two statements to Autosport since then denying any involvement with VR46 and Tanal Entertainment – with the companies CEO saying as such during meetings at June’s Dutch TT.

Asked by Autosport during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix weekend what the latest situation was in regards to VR46’s deal with Aramco, Nieto said: “Like you know, we make in the past this agreement with Aramco.

“The things are going very, very slow, but we are on the way.

“This is the most important thing, we have to continue working and at the moment the thing that I can tell you is we are working on that.

“There are some delays that we have, but we are on the way and we are still working.”

Aramco branding at Imola

Aramco branding at Imola

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

VR46 is yet to make any official announcement on its signing of Bezzecchi from Moto2, and deliberately steered clear of making any statements last weekend to keep the spotlight on Rossi’s final MotoGP outing in Italy.  

“We are excited because in the end we are coming with our own team completely from zero,” Nieto added.

“We start a really, really nice project. As everybody knows, we already know the riders, but this weekend is an important weekend for us, for the family because it’s Valentino’s weekend.

“So, we don’t want to say anything about that [2022 rider line-up].

“But everybody knows about the riders that are going to be in MotoGP and Moto2.

“We have to learn to improve, because it’s a new challenge for us. But I think we have very good support from Ducati, we are coming here to make very good things.” 

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