Rossi's team would get Yamaha satellite priority over Tech 3

Yamaha would choose Valentino Rossi's Team VR46 operation over Tech 3 as its sole MotoGP satellite squad if given the option in future, claims Herve Poncharal.

Rossi, who turns 39 in February and is out of contract after this season, has been strongly linked to a team boss role when he chooses to retire from grand prix motorcycle racing.

His VR46 team already competes in Moto2 and Moto3, and Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta said last year he was prepared to guarantee Rossi's squad a slot in the premier class despite the grid theoretically being fixed at 24 bikes.

Rossi's long association with Yamaha makes the Iwata manufacturer the obvious candidate to supply VR46 if it does make the step up to MotoGP.

But Yamaha historically has tended to only supply one customer team, meaning long-time partner Tech 3 could end up being outsted.

Tech 3 boss Poncharal said: "I had some discussions with them [Yamaha], where I said, 'Can you have six bikes on the grid?' They said, 'No, too many'.

"I said, 'Okay, if you had a request from VR46 and Tech 3, who would be the priority?' '[The answer was] VR46.' So this is clear."

Poncharal "doesn't want" Rossi as partner

All of MotoGP's satellite teams are contracted with Dorna to stay on the grid until 2021, meaning any new team would have to buy into one of the existing ones - or else get unanimous approval from both Dorna and all of the independent outfits currently on the grid.

Poncharal said he doubts Rossi would want to tie up with an existing operation, and ruled out any alliance with Tech 3.

"We have a contract with Dorna which says from 2017 to 2021, nobody can come in the championship unless they find a way to make a deal, a partnership or merge with an existing team," he explained.

"I don't want him as a partner. Maybe he can buy Aspar, Avintia, LCR, any independent team, but I don't think this is what he wants.

"If he is coming he needs to have green light from Dorna, but also from the independent teams that are here because we have an exclusivity [deal] and this is written.

"Unless everybody signs yes, we agree to have one more team, it is not going to happen. It can happen in 2022."

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Teams Team VR46 , Tech 3
Article type Breaking news