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    17 December 2023

    Valentino Rossi, a MotoGP team owner who doesn’t fake it – Bezzecchi

    Bezzecchi’s Breakout Season with VR46 Ducati

    In the world of premier class motorcycle racing, Marco Bezzecchi emerged as a rising star during his sophomore campaign. The Italian rider joined forces with the esteemed VR46 Ducati squad and embarked on a journey that surpassed all expectations.

    Throughout the season, Bezzecchi showcased his immense talent by securing three grand prix victories and ultimately finished an impressive third in the championship standings. This remarkable achievement solidified his position as one of the brightest prospects on the circuit.

    Despite receiving an enticing offer to join Pramac and ride a factory bike for the upcoming season, Bezzecchi made a bold decision to remain loyal to VR46. However, he will be piloting a year-old bike instead. When asked about this choice, Bezzecchi mentioned that it was not solely due to contractual obligations but also because of the invaluable human connections he had fostered within Rossi’s team.

    A Privilege Under Pressure

    “It’s more of a privilege than anything,” says Bezzecchi when discussing his association with Valentino Rossi and their shared journey at VR46.

    The pressure associated with performing at such a high level is undeniable in any sport. As athletes reach new heights in their careers, dealing with mounting expectations becomes inevitable. However, for Bezzecchi, riding alongside Rossi brings forth feelings of honor rather than burden. He considers himself fortunate to have worked closely with Rossi during their Moto2 days and acknowledges how much support he receives from this MotoGP legend. Although Rossi may not actively participate in the day-to-day operations of VR46, his involvement with all Academy members – including Bezzecchi – extends beyond the track. He provides guidance and assistance to help them continually develop their skills.

    “Well, it’s like this,” Bezzecchi begins when asked about the pressure he feels being associated with Rossi’s team. “The pressure is there, but it’s normal in every sport.”

    Bezzecchi goes on to explain that reaching a high level automatically invites pressure and expects its arrival sooner or later. However, he emphasizes that rather than feeling burdened by this pressure, he considers himself incredibly fortunate.

    Riding alongside Rossi has been an invaluable experience for Bezzecchi. Having had the chance to work closely with him during their Moto2 days, he appreciates how much support and assistance Rossi provides. While Vale is not a team owner who merely demands results from his riders, he genuinely cares about their success and endeavors to help them perform at their best. When faced with challenges or difficulties on track, Rossi is the first person there offering a helping hand. Together with the entire squad at VR46 Ducati, they form a tight-knit group focused on achieving excellence.

    A Different Path

    “It’s still a satellite team; this makes all the difference in MotoGP,” explains Bezzecchi as he reflects on his decision to remain with VR46 instead of joining a factory team like Pramac.

    The dynamics within MotoGP vary significantly between factory teams and satellite teams like VR46. Each operates under different philosophies and approaches races differently. Racing for a factory team means representing an entire brand along with elevated expectations regarding performance both on track and off-track activities such as testing. In contrast, being part of VR46 allows Bezzecchi to concentrate solely on the team’s objectives rather than representing a brand. This affords him a different perspective and approach to racing, which can be both liberating and beneficial for his overall development as a rider.

    Expanding the VR46 Family

    As Bezzecchi prepares for the upcoming season, he will not only continue his journey with VR46 but will also welcome Fabio Di Giannantonio into the fold. Di Giannantonio marks the first non-VR46 Academy rider to race for the squad at any level of the world championship. This expansion of Rossi’s team signifies an exciting new chapter in their collective story. With two talented riders ready to unleash their potential, there is no doubt that VR46 Ducati will make waves on and off-track in the seasons to come.

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