Valentino Rossi says he has been “pushing” Marco Bezzecchi to remain with the VR46 MotoGP squad despite the fact he won’t have a factory Ducati at the team in 2024.

Double grand prix winner Bezzecchi is at the centre of the key rider market moves for 2025, with the VR46 rider torn between remaining at his current squad or moving to Pramac.

A move to Pramac is Bezzecchi’s only chance of riding a works-spec Ducati in 2024, with VR46 to continue running year-old Desmosedicis.

Speaking to Sky Italia at the Austrian Grand Prix, MotoGP legend Rossi says his VR46 team’s “goal” is to retain both Bezzecchi and Luca Marini for 2024 and is urging the former to put his faith in his outfit.

“They have been very intense days, we have been with Bez a lot,” Rossi said of talks with Bezzecchi about his future.

“Our goal is to continue with both riders for 2024, both Luca and Marco.

“We have already talked to both of them and in my opinion, there are good possibilities.

“Unfortunately, we will almost certainly not have the official bike, because the other two official bikes have been given to Pramac.

“But talking with Bez I felt to push a little bit, because the support we can give him in our team is very good.

“Although we don’t have the official bike, we have a good one as Ducati has given us this year.

“We can do well because Bez is comfortable with us. We have sewn a very positive team on him in my opinion, top level.

“You know, you change teams, you go to another strong one, but you have to start all over again, you don’t know if your chief technician is coming.

“There are pros and cons. So, I felt like pushing because I think with us Bez can win.”

Ducati’s next move is likely to come on Sunday when Johann Zarco decides whether to continue on a one-year deal with Pramac or join LCR on a two-year contract with Honda.

With Zarco’s LCR move likely, Bezzecchi joining Pramac could open up a major opportunity for Franco Morbidelli.

The outgoing Yamaha rider has been linked to VR46 assuming Bezzecchi goes to Pramac, but could wind up with a factory-spec Ducati at the latter outfit if Bezzecchi stays put.

It is understood Pramac’s sponsorship obligations necessitate one of its riders being Italian.