Rossi’s MotoGP team finalises title sponsor after Aramco saga

Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP team for 2022 has finalised its title sponsor following a lengthy debacle involving Saudi Arabian oil giant Aramco, which will not back VR46 Racing.

Rossi’s MotoGP team finalises title sponsor after Aramco saga
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Nine-time motorcycle grand prix world champion Rossi’s squad’s step up to MotoGP for 2022 was first announced earlier this year, with a Saudi company known as Tanal Entertainment revealing the team and a supposed title backing from Aramco.

But, in a statement issued to Motorsport.com, Aramco denied any involvement – and continued to deny it had agreed a deal with Tanal or VR46 in the ensuing months, though Rossi repeatedly insisted a deal was in place.

When MotoGP issued its provisional entry list for the 2022 season back in November, it listed VR46 without Aramco tagged onto its name.

VR46 has now confirmed it has reached a deal with Italian banking company Mooney to be its title sponsor for 2022 in Moto2 and MotoGP – with the squad now known as Mooney VR46 Racing Team.

A brief statement from the team said: “Mooney, the first Italian Proximity Banking & Payments company, will be the new title sponsor of the VR46 Racing Team, the racing team created by Valentino Rossi and protagonist in the MotoGP and Moto2 categories of the world championship.

“Following the agreement, the team's naming will be Mooney VR46 Racing Team and it will be used in all the team's images (including motorbikes and riders' suits) and in official communications.

“Further information will be revealed on 3 January.”

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The VR46 squad will be helmed by Pablo Nieto – current VR46 team boss in Moto2 – and will field year-old Ducatis for Luca Marini and MotoGP rookie Marco Bezzecchi.

Rossi’s outfit takes over the grid slots of the departing Avintia team, which quit MotoGP at the conclusion of the 2021 campaign.

It is unclear how much trackside involvement Rossi will have in the VR46 squad in 2022 as he gets set to embark on a season racing GT machinery.

Earlier this month Rossi tested an Audi R8 LMS GT3 for renowned Belgian sportscar racing squad WRT.

In Moto2, VR46 will have two squads next season after agreeing a deal with Yamaha to form the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp outfit – which will act as a rider development squad for the Japanese marque.

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