Team Principal Alessio “Uccio” Salucci talks about Luca Marini’s successor for MotoGP 2024 and confirms that Fabio di Giannantonio is not an option
The VR46 Ducati team is currently searching intensively for a successor to Luca Marini. Even though Honda has not yet officially confirmed that Marini will succeed Marc Marquez in the Repsol team, the VR46 team must prepare to have a second rider for the 2024 MotoGP season alongside Marco Bezzecchi
The big favorite for the second position in Valentino Rossi’s team is Moto2 race winner Fermin Aldeguer. However, the 18-year-old Spaniard’s Moto2 contract does not appear to include a MotoGP exit clause. The transfer fee is likely to be correspondingly high. Tony Arbolino is another potential candidate. Fabio di Giannantonio, on the other hand, seems to be out of the running.
“Fabio is not our first option,” Team Principal Alessio “Uccio” Salucci confirmed to MotoGP.com. “We want to sign a young rider from Moto2. There are two or three potential candidates. A decision will be made in the next three or four days. “
Does Arbolino get preference because Aldeguer is too expensive?
The VR46 team is aware that they will not get a top Moto2 rider without a transfer: “If you lose a rider of Marini’s caliber in November, then you have to buy the riders from the Moto2 teams. We are talking to all of them, not just one team, not just Aldeguer. We certainly have to pay something, but that’s how it works in our sport.”
VR46 can well imagine promoting Tony Arbolino from Moto2 to MotoGP. The 23-year-old’s easy-going manner goes down well with “Uccio”. “Yes, I like Tony. He is a very good rider. He is very young and is Italian. He is one of the candidates,” reveals the VR46 team boss.
“But we’re not just talking to Tony and Fermin. There are other fast riders that I really like. That will become clear in the coming days. We won’t have to wait much longer,” predicts the long-time companion of MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi.
Only a few days to go until the MotoGP test in Valencia
The team has plenty of time anyway. The Valencia test is approaching. VR46 was hectic after the Marini/Honda development. “I was only able to sleep for three hours last week. We consulted very intensively with Pablo,” remarks “Uccio”.
“I hope that we have everything together for the test. Otherwise we’ll only be testing with one driver,” jokes “Uccio” during the penultimate Grand Prix of the current season. “But the time window is very small,” remarks the Italian.