Rossi's team guaranteed MotoGP grid slot, says Ezpeleta

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Rossi's team guaranteed MotoGP grid slot, says Ezpeleta
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May 4, 2017, 12:28 PM

Valentino Rossi's team will be guaranteed a place on the MotoGP grid for in future irrespective of current grid size limits, according to series boss Carmelo Ezpeleta.

Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Francesco Bagnaia, Sky Racing Team VR46
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Nicolo Bulega, Sky Racing Team VR46
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing with Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO of Dorna

Rossi’s Sky-backed VR46 Racing squad currently competes in both Moto3 and Moto2, with members of the Italian’s VR46 Riders Academy filling the team’s seats.

It has been suggested that the VR46 operation could be a means for Rossi to stay involved in MotoGP once the 38-year-old decides to retire from racing.

His current contract with Yamaha expires at the end of the 2018 season, although he has previously hinted he may be willing to extend this as long as he remains competitive.

While the current size of the MotoGP grid is capped at 24 bikes – with the currently vacant 24th slot being reserved for the LCR team to be able to expand to a second bike – Dorna CEO Ezpeleta says the limit would be raised if it meant Rossi could field a team.

The Spaniard believes that such a move would get the unanimous approval of the championship’s existing outfits.

“What we want is for Valentino to remain an active part of the championship,” Ezpeleta told Motorsport.com. “Will he have a team? If he wants to, yes.

“We will not grant any more licences in MotoGP, apart from if Valentino asks us. If he wants a team in MotoGP, he will have it.

“I’m sure if we ask the other teams, they would all want us to offer that possibility.

“The only thing that has to happen is that he wants to, the same as the current situation. Why does he keep racing? Because he likes it and has a good time.”

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi Shop Now
Teams Team VR46
Author Oriol Puigdemont
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