Valentino Rossi’s VR46 MotoGP outfit has reportedly reached an agreement with Yamaha to become the Japanese manufacturer’s official satellite operation from the 2025 season.
According to Austrian publication Speedweek, the Italian squad brokered a deal with Yamaha over the Qatar Grand Prix weekend to become its second team for two years across the 2025 and ’26 terms.
The Italian team has long been rumored to be looking into a way to begin a partnership with Yamaha, with it currently being level with Gresini as a Ducati customer below the factory squad and main satellite organisation Pramac.
FIM President Jorge Viegas even went as far as suggesting at the end of 2022 that it would switch to Yamaha for the 2024 campaign. However, VR46 team boss Alessio Salucci assured that it would honor its deal with Ducati until its end at the end of that season.
The move makes sentimental sense for the team due to owner Rossi’s extended history with the firm. He won four of his seven premier class titles with Yamaha and ended his career with it following a failed two-year spell with Ducati.
VR46 would likely receive at least one factory-spec M1 as part of the deal should it go ahead, with Yamaha keen to procure the services of current Moto2 hotshot Fermin Aldeguer.
The 18-year-old Spaniard has won the last three races in the intermediate class with Speed Up and has been in negotiations to join VR46 as a replacement for Luca Marini, who has been chosen as Marc Marquez’s successor at the factory Honda team.
Yamaha has been without a second operation to share data since the end of last year when the RNF outfit ditched the marque to become Aprilia’s satellite partner instead. This followed Tech 3 leaving Yamaha to become KTM’s main partner ahead of the 2018 term, the brand not offering as much support as its European rivals.