Motorcycle Racing

Marini feels “no pressure” from Valentino Rossi connection in MotoGP

Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team

The 25-year-old made his MotoGP debut last year with Avintia Ducati on a GP19 backed by VR46, before racing a 2022-spec Ducati this season with the VR46 squad.

Marini was one of two Ducati riders not to score a podium in 2022 alongside Gresini rookie Fabio Di Giannantonio, but enjoyed a consistent campaign in 12th in the standings on 120 points.

MotoGP is no stranger to having family relations on the grid, with Marc and Alex Marquez, Pol and Aleix Espargaro, and Darryn and Brad Binder racing on the grid in 2022.

This, however, has led to comments – particularly in Alex Marquez’s case – that some of them are only in MotoGP because of their surname.

While he doesn’t share a surname with Rossi, Marini’s familial ties are often mentioned in the same breath when he is talked about and the pair even shared a car twice in the Gulf 12 Hours endurance race, finishing third in a Kessel-run Ferrari in 2019.

But the 25-year-old has no problem with his familial connection to Rossi being discussed, and feels making comparisons between them is foolish.

“No, sincerely this doesn’t change so much,” Marini told Autosport in an exclusive interview when asked if he felt any extra pressure riding in Rossi’s team.

“The comparison has never happened because it’s impossible to compare.

Luca Marini, VR46 Racing Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“What Vale did in his career is something incredible that nobody will do something similar to what he has done, because also it’s a different period.

“Now it’s impossible to win 10 races in a row because the level is too high, it’s too much.

“Everything is at an unbelievable level, the 24 riders in MotoGP are incredible, the bikes are fantastic, and every rider can win a race.

“So, it’s not possible to make a comparison. So, for me there is no more pressure.

“The riders with pressure are here to win, because they are here for this because it is difficult to win every Sunday.”

Marini will remain with VR46 for the 2023 season, but will continue to race a 2022-spec bike after Ducati elected to only field current-spec works machinery at its factory squad and Pramac.

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