Rossi's Sky VR46 team firms up 2019 line-up

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Rossi's Sky VR46 team firms up 2019 line-up
Valentin Khorounzhiy
By: Valentin Khorounzhiy
Sep 19, 2018, 1:49 PM

Valentino Rossi's Sky VR46 rider development programme has announced line-ups for its Moto2 and Moto3 teams for the 2019 season.

Nicolo Bulega, who has raced for the team in Moto3 for the past three years, will be promoted to the intermediate class, replacing current championship leader Francesco Bagnaia – who will join Pramac Ducati in MotoGP.

“After three seasons in Moto3, I am ready to undertake this new adventure, full of expectation, motivation and energy,” Bulega said.

“I will give the maximum and I am quite happy to have Sky Racing Team VR46 at my side again at a key moment of my career.”

The 18-year-old Italian was a superb seventh in his rookie season, but slumped to 12th in his sophomore year and has endured a terrible third campaign so far – scoring just seven points in 12 races.

In Moto2 he will line up alongside the retained Luca Marini, Valentino Rossi's half-brother, who has enjoyed a breakthrough season in the category this year.

Bulega's current teammate Dennis Foggia will remain in the Moto3 roster, and will be paired up with Celestino Vietti Ramus.

The 16-year-old Vietti, like Bulega, is a former Italian PreMoto3 champion, and sits 10th in the current Spanish Moto3 standings.

Team manager Pablo Nieto said: “Thanks to Pecco [Bagnaia], we are succeeding in our objective and, next year, the first time a rider who grew up with Sky Racing Team VR46 will be in MotoGP and with a quite competitive bike.

“We enjoy this great satisfaction, but at the same time, it pushes us forward to continue to sustain young Italian riders in our team with the same passion and professionalism.”

Two more Italian youngsters – Lorenzo Dalla Porta and Tony Arbolino – have had their 2019 plans firmed up earlier this month.

Dalla Porta, who took his maiden Moto3 win last time out at Misano, will continue with Leopard, while Arbolino has re-signed with Marinelli Snipers, where he will be joined by Kazakh rider Makar Yurchenko.

PrustelGP, which currently competes for the Moto3 title with Rossi protege Marco Bezzecchi, has also announced its 2019 line-up, pairing Bezzecchi's current teammate Jakub Kornfeil with a fellow Czech rider – Red Bull Rookies Cup ace Filip Salac.

Dennis Foggia, Sky Racing Team VR46

Dennis Foggia, Sky Racing Team VR46

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

2019 Moto2 line-up so far:

Team Riders
Marc VDS

Spain Alex Marquez

Spain Xavi Vierge

Ajo KTM

Spain Jorge Martin

South Africa Brad Binder

Tech 3 KTM

Italy Marco Bezzecchi

Germany Philipp Oettl

Intact GP

Switzerland Tom Luthi

Germany Marcel Schrotter

Sky Racing VR46

Italy Luca Marini

Italy Nicolo Bulega

CGBM Evolution

United States Joe Roberts 

Spain Iker Lecuona

MV Agusta Forward Racing

TBA

Speed Up

Spain Jorge Navarro

TBA

Italtrans

Italy Andrea Locatelli

Italy Enea Bastianini

Tasca Racing

Italy Simone Corsi

Gresini Racing

 Sam Lowes

Petronas-SIC Malaysia Khairul Idham Pawi 
RW Racing Netherlands Bo Bendsneyder

2019 Moto3 line-up so far:

Team Riders
Leopard Racing

Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta

TBA

Sky Racing VR46

Italy Dennis Foggia

Italy Celestino Vietti Ramus

PrustelGP

Czech Republic Jakub Kornfeil 

Czech Republic Filip Salac

Petronas-SIC

 John McPhee

Japan Ayumu Sasaki 

Nieto Team

Spain Albert Arenas

Spain Raul Fernandez

Snipers Team

Italy Tony Arbolino

Kazakhstan Makar Yurchenko

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