Planned extension of career delays potential VR46 MotoGP entry.
Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi has declared he is unlikely to form a satellite Yamaha-backed VR46 MotoGP team in the next two seasons, instead indicating that he plans to race through 2020.
The 39-year-old currently fields teams in Moto2 and Moto3, while still competing in MotoGP’s premier category himself, and has ruled out replacing Herve Poncharal’s Tech3 team at Yamaha during the 2019 or 2020 seasons.
“I didn’t expect Poncharal to leave Yamaha,” Rossi stated. “We thought about it and it would have been a great opportunity, but in the next two years we will not make a MotoGP team with Yamaha. I’ll probably race for the next two years, so hopefully we’ll talk about the team later when I stop, but not in 2019 or 2020.”
Tech3 made the shock decision last month to depart Yamaha following the upcoming 2018 season, opening the Japanese marque’s satellite support on the grid and immediately linking VR46 to the top tier. Rossi’s current Yamaha contract expires at the conclusion of this year.