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Why Valentino Rossi and his confidant Uccio Salucci have pulled off something special because of their internal struggle

Why Valentino Rossi and his confidant Uccio Salucci have pulled off something special because of their internal struggle. Rossi will have been out of MotoGP for more than a year when the 2023 season begins, but 18 percent of the field will carry his name. The current champion of the series will be one of them.

Pecco Bagnaia’s victory in 2022 has undoubtedly established the VR46 Academy as an obvious success story, even if Franco Morbidelli’s run to second place in the 2020 MotoGP season did not formally establish the VR46 Academy as such.

Although there is still a long way to go before this crop equals Rossi’s seven MotoGP titles, it is certainly not out of the question, provided that the Academy continues to progress.
However, sustaining success places a particular strain on a person.

Some other motorsport talent development structures are well known for their brutality, to the point where brutality appears to be the desired quality for locating the very best of the best.

In contrast, the VR46 program wants to be a family just as much as it does a talent scouting program, and its participants believe that it has succeeded in doing so. However, the majority of families do not regularly compete with one another.

Regarding the dynamic among the VR46 Academy riders, Valentino Rossi’s brother Luca Marini stated, “We spend a lot of time together.”It goes beyond simply training together.

We are a group of friends who talk about everything: TV shows, Netflix, other sports, playing video games, and watching Formula One together. Initially, we are a group of friends. then a group of trainers. then competitors return to normal.

“I think we’ve done a really good job managing this situation over the years, because it’s hard, especially when you first get into MotoGP, where everything is different. But we are doing very well, and I hope we can continue this way.

However, I also hope it gets a little bit worse! Because a sign that you are fighting for victory is when the relationship becomes more difficult. It’s a great addition to have this.”

There are currently four very skilled riders in VR46’s MotoGP team. However, despite the fact that Rossi and Salucci undoubtedly wish for their protégés to achieve consistent success, they might consider themselves fortunate that some of them performed below expectations in 2022.

During his quest for the title, Bagnaia’s fellow VR46 riders did not play a significant role. Marco Bezzecchi, a rookie, took it easy on him a few times, and Bagnaia’s improvement curve was almost the same as Marini’s. The two of them moved up the order together as the Desmosedici GP22 got better, so they didn’t fight as much.

Morbidelli is the most important one. Yamaha wanted him to help Fabio Quartararo defend his title against Bagnaia more, but he was generally too slow to have an impact on Bagnaia’s races.

He did at one point outrage Ducati by holding Bagnaia up during a pivotal practice meeting at Sepang – yet he’d likewise done likewise to Quartararo a couple of moments earlier, and the thump on impact demonstrated negligible as Bagnaia got himself out of Q1 and come out on top in the race, in which Morbidelli obediently let partner Quartararo through.

Morbidelli’s pre-race response to the question of who he thought would win the Valencia final was telling, clever, and not at all controversial. He said, “I just sit back and watch.”I keep getting the question, “Who do you cheer for?”I’m a rider, you see. I’m super-egotistical.”

However, if Morbidelli regains his form, the theme of “split loyalties” will undoubtedly continue. In a similar vein, it is unavoidable for the others if they continue to advance, as it is already impossible to accommodate all VR46 riders in a single manufacturer and keep them satisfied.

Marini will have already experienced the pressure his VR46 friends put on him for his reputation and career prospects when they overperformed.

He had been upgraded to a GP22 for this year, but Bezzecchi was enjoying life on an older bike while he was having a lot of trouble with the new Ducati.

More specifically, after just five races in Moto2, Celestino Vietti established a remarkable 34-point lead, arguing for a promotion to the premier class.

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