The black, blue and yellow hues of the Sky Italia VR46 brand will be seen in MotoGP for the first time in 2021 after Luca Marini revealed the livery that will adorn his Avintia Esponsorama Racing Ducati.

The Italian - brother of Valentino Rossi - will progress to the premier class next season in the Spanish-based team, alongside the rider that beat him to the 2020 Moto2 World Championship title, Enea Bastianini.

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However, the two bikes are set to run alternative liveries - much like LCR does with its Hondas - with Marini bringing backing from SKY Italia and VR46 with him. The fresh look was unveiled ahead of the X Factor Italia Final - broadcast on SKY - with Marco Bezzecchi and new team-mate Celestino Vietti on hand to show their Moto2 colours as well.

It is the first time the VR46 branding has been seen in MotoGP, beyond Rossi himself, and is anticipated to prelude a full scale move by the team into MotoGP for 2022, potentially taking over the Avintia entry entirely. It will also be the first time both Rossi and Marini have raced against one another at grand prix level.

The soft move into MotoGP for VR46 is a major moment for ‘the Doctor’, seven years after he created the team in conjunction with SKY Italia with an express view of promoting Italian talent through the ranks. 

Starting off in Moto3 in 2014, the team moved into Moto2 as well in 2017 and secured its first riders’ title in the latter courtesy of Pecco Bagnaia in 2018. He together with Marini and Franco Morbidelli means there will be three VR46 Academy associated riders on the MotoGP grid in 2021, together with Rossi himself.

 

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