MotoGP: Tony Arbolino to remain in Moto2 with Elf Marc VDS next season

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Moto2 title contender Tony Arbolino has signed a new deal with Elf Marc VDS which will see him remain in the intermediate class in 2024.

Arbolino, who is currently second in the championship, 12 points behind Pedro Acosta, was one of the riders linked with a possible move to MotoGP next season. The Spaniard, alongside Brit Jake Dixon was rumoured to be Ducati’s wish list, possibly at Gresini Racing alongside Alex Marquez.

However, this option has disappeared and Arbolino will remain in Moto2. Arbolino joined Marc VDS in 2022 and quickly rediscovered his form after a tough 2021 campaign.

Arbolino ended 2022 fourth overall after securing three victories and five podiums, whilst this season he has two wins to his name and a total of six podiums from the opening 10 rounds.

Tony Arbolino on the Moto2 podium in Germany

“It is a fantastic feeling to know I am staying with the Elf Marc VDS Racing Team in 2024,” Arbolino said. “I have felt amazing in this great team from day one, and I am proud of what we have already achieved together and excited for the challenges ahead.

“It wasn’t a difficult decision for me because this project and the people involved have helped me develop as a rider and a person, and I think the best is still to come.

“The people in this team are fantastic and I’m really looking forward to working with them again next year. I’d also like to thank Marc van der Straten. He has always believed in me and given me all his support, which I am very grateful for.”

Arbolino will be joined by Filip Salac at the team next year as current teammate Sam Lowes is heading to the World Superbike Championship with Marc VDS. The Dutch team will be running a Ducati V4 R in WorldSBK.

“I am personally thrilled to have Tony staying with the Elf Marc VDS Racing family in 2024,” team owner, Marc van der Straten said.  “He completely deserves this new contract because he proves his talent at every Grand Prix. I am convinced that we can give Tony what he needs to fulfill his goals but also provide the best platform before he takes the next step in his career.

“In my opinion, Tony has made the right choice to stay with us in Moto2 for another year. We’re going to prepare him in the best possible way for when he inevitably moves to MotoGP in the future. When he does make that step, he’ll do it in the best way and on the best bike, one with the quality that matches his talent.

“It would have bothered me if he had repeated the situation experienced with Alex Márquez at the end of 2019 when he left, perhaps too early, for MotoGP. If he can be World Champion this year, I’m sure he has the drive and determination to do it a second time. He’s a wonderful person in every way and I’m very happy that he’s staying.”