Team Mooney VR46 has confirmed that Luca Marini will be replaced by Fabio Di Giannantonio. The Italian, who lost his seat in the Gresini team to Marc Marquez, managed to secure his future in the most elite motorcycle class with good performances at the end of the season (the highlight was the victory in the race in Qatar). Next season he will share the garage with Marco Bezzecchi, while Luca Marini was also officially confirmed as a new member of the Repsol Honda team today. "I am very happy to become a member of such a good team as Mooney VR46. I can't wait to get on the motorcycle and start writing a new story in my career." "I have improved a lot in the last two seasons and I can take another step forward with this team. I would like to thank everyone who gave me this opportunity." Di Giannantonio j
The Repsol Honda team has now also officially confirmed that Luca Marini is coming to their garage in the 2024 season, where he will take over the place vacated by Marc Marquez. Marini competed for his brother's VR46 team for three seasons, and the 26-year-old Italian wanted new challenges and the opportunity to race for the factory team. Marini has signed a two-season contract with an option to extend. The vacancy in the VR46 team will probably be filled by Fabio Di Giannantonio, who lost his job in the Gresini Racing team, where Marc Marquez is coming.
Fabio Di Giannantonio and Marco Bezzecchi have denied suggestions that they deliberately failed to overtake Francesca Bagnaia in Saturday's MotoGP sprint race, as this would have deprived him of important points in the fight for the championship title. Bagnaia arrived in Valencia with a 21-point lead, which was reduced to fourteen points after fifth place in the sprint race. But the Italian was lucky at first glance, as it seemed that his compatriots on semi-factory Ducatis, despite being faster, did not want to get involved in the title fight, otherwise Bagnaia would have had two points less before Sunday's decisive race. But both Di Giannantoni and Bezzecchi denied helping their compatriot: "I'm here to win races and to achieve podium finishes," was clear Di Giannantonio, who drove most of the race right behind
According to some German media, Valentino Rossi is said to have reached an agreement that his VR46 team will race with Yamaha motorcycles from 2025 onwards, thus at least indirectly returning the once successful relationship to the track. Rossi's Mooney VR46 team has been competing with Ducati bikes since entering the MotoGP class in 2022, and from 2025 they are expected to use Yamaha engines. According to German Speedweek speculation, one of the team's riders would get a fully factory-backed motorcycle, and for the first time in two seasons without a semi-factory team, Yamaha will have four motorcycles in the MotoGP races. The VR46 team has linked up with Indonesian lubricant manufacturers, Pertamina Lubricants, who will be their main sponsor for at least the next three seasons from 2024.
The Italian Luca Marini is expected to officially confirm his transfer from the VR46 team to Repsol Honda this week, where he will race for at least the next two seasons. Marini will, it seems, follow the path of his half-brother Valentino Rossi, who also raced with Honda at the beginning of his career, and in the Japanese manufacturer's garage he will in all likelihood work with the same chief mechanic, Santi Hernandez, who has worked closely together in recent years with Marco Marquez. The most important part that should convince Marini to transfer is the duration of the contract, as Honda initially offered the Italian a contract for one season, and at a meeting between Marini's manager and Honda in the paddock in Malaysia, they apparently reached an agreement on a longer-term cooperation. For now, the deal has not been officially confirmed, although it was unofficially confirmed by Marc Ma
Valentino Rossi will take part in the official rookie testing of the World Endurance Championship in Barhain this weekend with the Belgian team WRT, where he will drive a prototype race car in the LMP2 class for the first time. "I'm happy for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of an LMP2 car for the first time," said the Italian. "This is a great opportunity given to me by the WRT team as we also plan to test a BMW hypercar in the future. Before this test it is very good to get some experience with the LMP2 prototype car as it has a similar level of vacuum and I am interested in what I capable behind his wheel. When I'm in Bahrain, I'll also be happy to watch the last race of the season, because I hope to race in the WEC championship in the future. That way I'll feel the atmosphere and the course of the event more easily." He will be with the team at rookie testing
During the MotoGP race weekend in Thailand, the Italian Luca Marini met with the boss of the Honda team, Alberto Puig, with whom he is said to talk about the possibility of participating in the 2024 season. will leave Marc Marquez, who is moving to the Gresini team in 2023. The Japanese team wants an experienced racer, so they don't even talk to racers from lower categories, and Johann Zarco, who is moving to LCR Honda in 2024, has already rejected the possibility of transferring to the Honda factory team. Luca Marini is currently racing in the VR2024 team, which is led by his brother Valentino Rossi, so the chances of him switching to Honda are not great. It is much more likely that Marquez's place will be taken by Fabio Di Giannantonio, who will have to the Spaniard
Luca Marini, like most of the riders, agreed with the decision to cancel the MotoGP sprint race in Australia after strong winds hit the track and stopped the Moto10 race after 2 laps. "In such cases, the decision to cancel the race is difficult for the organizer, but reason prevailed," said Marini. "During the warm-ups, the problem was not the water on the track, but the wind. It was very dangerous, because the wind at the end of the start-finish plane at 330km/h would have pushed us off the track." In addition to the wind, the drop in temperature also caused problems for the racers, as the Moto2 race took place at only 15 degrees. "It was very cold in the morning and it was almost impossible to prepare the tires well, especially the right side."
Luca Marini was the fastest rider in MotoGP qualifying for the sprint race and the Indonesian Grand Prix. For the VR46 rider, who is coming back from a broken collarbone, this is the first top starting position in the MotoGP class. Aprilia racers Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro will also start the race from the front row, while the main actors in the fight for the championship title were somewhat disappointing. After Friday's training, Francesco Bagnaia found himself in the Q1 part of the qualification and was also eliminated there with the third time. Jorge Martin, who also fell once during qualifying, won sixth place. Fabio Quartararo and Brad Binder will stand in front of him on the second starting row, while Fabio Di Giannantonio, Marc Marquez, Marco Bezzecchi and Jack Mi shared the last places in the top ten
Luca Marini has flown home after crashing in the MotoGP sprint race in India, where he has already undergone surgery to repair a fractured left collarbone he suffered in a collision with Mooney VR46 teammate Marco Bezzecchi. Marini landed on his shoulder after the collision and now has a few days to recover. "This is not my best period," he announced from his hospital bed. The Italian will certainly miss at least the Japanese GP in Motegi this weekend, but it is not yet known when he could return. It is known, however, that he will have to serve two penalty rounds in the next race in which he will compete.