After an impressive debut campaign in the premiere MotoGP class last season as the VR46 Racing Team finished eighth in the teams’ standing, securing a first-ever podium finish as well.
The Valentino Rossi-led VR46 Racing Team has been on an upward trajectory ever since joining the Moto3 category back in 2014. They won the 2018 Moto2 Riders’ Championship with Francesco Bagnaia and won the 2020 Moto2 Teams’ Championship before making the jump to MotoGP in 2022.
Both Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi put on display their potential ceiling as well as highlight the bike’s power and agility, with both riders featuring high on the timesheet chart in qualifying and during the races throughout the season.
However, the biggest talk from the first pre-season testing session was Luca Marini topping the timesheets with his VR46 Racing bike. Can Rossi’s team cement themselves as a front-runner or is this just another false dawn?
But before that let’s take a look at VR46 Racing’s official sponsors ahead of the 2023 MotoGP season.
Mooney – the first Italian Proximity Banking & Payments company – became the title sponsor of the VR46 Racing Team ahead of the 2022 MotoGP season. As part of the agreement, the new team was named Mooney VR46 Racing Team.
With its extensive network of sales throughout Italy that are fully integrated with the digital ecosystem, Mooney has played an important social role in providing consumers with simple, quick, and easy access to a wide range of payment solutions; namely bills, prepaid cards, telephone recharge cards as well as facilities such as cash withdrawals, wire transfers, and payment orders, formerly possible only through banks.
Barracuda is a market leader among accessories and design components for motorcycles. Started as an innovative project in 2002, on the outskirts of Florence, Italy, Barracuda has become one of the frontiers of design by offering the best technical solutions. Ahead of the upcoming 2023 season, VR46 Racing Team has announced Barracuda as one of its official sponsors.
IVECO, an acronym for Industrial Vehicle Corporation, is an Italian multinational transport vehicle manufacturing company. It designs and builds light, medium, and heavy commercial vehicles. IVECO first collaborated with Sky Racing Team VR46 (now VR46 Racing Team) in the year 2014, when the team was competing in the junior Moto3 category. As part of the deal, IVECO became a technical sponsor of the team. While their partnership nearing a decade-long association, IVECO have been a constant feature in the MotoGP world since 2002.
RCB, formerly known as Racing Boy, first partnered with the Sky Racing VR46 Team in 2014. The Malaysian motorcycle parts and accessories supplier has been serving as an official sponsor for Valentino Rossi’s team since then. As part of the agreement, the RCB logo will feature on both the riders’ racing suits as well as their bikes.
Fassi Gru S.P.A. manufactures and markets cranes. Established in 1965, the company provides hydraulic, articulated boom, lorry mounted, truck mounted, and loader cranes. Ahead of the 2022 MotoGP season, Fassi Gru renewed its ties with VR46 Racing in 2022 ahead of its debut season in the premiere MotoGP class. As per the terms of the agreement, Fassi Gru will have its logo on the tail of the Ducati and KTM bikes for the MotoGP and the Moto2 championships respectively.
Cupra is a high-performance motoraport subsidiary of the Spanish automobile manufacturer SEAT founded in 1985. In 2018, SEAT created the Cupra brand as its own independent branch and SEAT Sport was officially replaced by Cupra Racing.
In 2021, Cupra first signed a deal with Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy followed by signing another three-year deal with the VR46 Racing Team this time ahead of the 2022 MotoGP season. As per the terms of the agreement, the Cupra logo will feature in motorbikes, helmets, racing suits and official uniform for both the MotoGP and Moto2 world championships.
Monster Energy – a prominent name in the world of motorsports – became the official sponsor of the VR46 Racing Team ahead of the 2022 MotoGP season. Monster Energy are already the title sponsor of the factory Yamaha MotoGP Racing Team and the addition of VR46 Racing Team are primarily down to their close tie with former Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi. Monster Energy will sponsor the team in both the premiere MotoGP championship and the Moto2 Championship.
Following the conclusion of the summer break during the 2022 MotoGP season, VR46 Racing returned to the grid with a new official sponsor in the form of Sisal Tipster. This marks the sports analysis community’s first foray into the world of motorcycle racing. As per the terms of the agreement, Sisal Tipster had a double presence across both categories – MotoGP and Moto2.
In 2021, Fila joined forces with VR46 Riders Academy, founded by Valentino Rossi to struggle the young riders to progress through the ranks, to the top of MotoGP. In 2022, they signed another deal with the VR46 Racing Team to become the official sponsor of the team for the next three years.
Fila was an active name in the MotoGP paddock during the early 2000s, however, they decided to pursue opportunities in other sports later down the line. With this initiative, FILA once again entered the world of two-wheeler motorsports.
Czech travel portal Flymeto.com became an official sponsor and logistics partner of the Mooney VR46 Racing Team in 2022. A 3-year agreement with the Tavullia team and the sharing of know-how for the best management of the team’s logistics services during the 21 Grand Prix on the calendar which will see the Mooney VR46 Racing Team travel to 17 countries on 5 continents.
The logo is present on the pilots’ suits and on the team’s official images and communications.
Dainese is an Italian manufacturer of protective equipment and technical gear for dynamic sports, including motorcycling, mountain biking, winter sports, and horse riding. Following Investcorp acquiring majority stakes in the company in 2014, it dipped its toes in the market of elite motorsport. Dainese became an official sponsor of then Sky Racing Team VR46 (now VR46 Racing Team) in the year 2014, and since then has been a loyal ally acting as both its official sponsor as well as being either protective equipment and safety gear supplier.
Similar to Dainese, AGV (Amisano Gino Valenza) – an Italian motorcycle helmet manufacturer active in motorcycle sport – became the official helmet sponsor of the Sky Racing Team VR46 (now VR46 Racing Team) in 2014. As part of the agreement, AGV will provide helmets for the VR46 Racing Team riders in both MotoGP and Moto2 class.
Having taken on the role of the sole tyre supplier in the premier class back in 2016, Michelin has played a key role in creating some of the closest competition across the championship’s history, with 10 of the closest top 15 finishes of all-time being set since 2018.
Michelin were set to remain as the official tyre supplier for 2023 with its former contract, however, a renewal of terms meant the new agreement would now cover the 2024, 2025, and 2026 world championship seasons.
Slovenian exhaust system manufacturer, Akrapovič became the Sky Racing VR46 team’s official sponsor back in 2014 and will continue to sponsor Rossi’s team heading into the coming season.
During this long-standing partnership, the VR46 Racing Team has sealed multiple championships – including the 2018 Moto3 Riders’ Championship and the 2020 Moto2 Teams’ Championship.
Established in 1933, Daido Kogyo, also known as D.I.D., is a Japanese company that specialises in manufacturing motorcycle and automobile chains, parts, industrial machinery parts, and much more. D.I.D. currently is a chain and accessory supplier for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Racing Team.
Founded in 1929 as a small company of electricians on the initiative of Stefano Comoli and Paolo Ferrari, Comoli Ferrari is an Italian company that distributes solutions for plant engineering. Comoli Ferrari became an official sponsor of the VR46 Racing Team in 2018 – the year they won the Moto2 Riders’ Championship with Francesco Bagnaia.
Schuler GmbH is a manufacturer of special trailer-based vehicles in the fields of motorsport, promotion, hospitality and motorhomes. The company plans and constructs mobile transport and space solutions that require efficient use of space and quick assembly and disassembly.
In August 2022, the Mooney VR46 Racing Team made an announcement that Schuler Trucks will be the new trailer supplier of the VR46 Racing Team moving forward.