With the news coming out on Saturday, talk of Maverick Viñales leaving the Yamaha camp was rampant in the MotoGP paddock.
Tipped widely to be headed to the Aprilia Racing garage for the 2022 season, Viñales’ woes on the Japanese squad have reached a zenith in their difficulties, shown clearly at the Sachsenring round last weekend.
The Spaniard’s experience on the Yamaha YZR-M1 has been mercurial, however, also shown clearly by this weekend’s result at Assen.
Nonetheless, following Maverick Viñales‘ request, Yamaha has agreed to put an early end to their current two-year contract.
Team and rider have mutually decided to go their separate ways after this year, and both parties say that they are committed to putting in their maximum effort for the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season and ending the relationship on a high note.
“It is with sadness that we will say farewell to Maverick at the end of the year,” said Managing Director, Lin Jarvis. “We are in the middle of our fifth season together and over the years we have achieved many highs but also had to manage many lows.”
“After the German GP, which was the most difficult weekend of our partnership, we had important discussions in Assen and came to the conclusion that it would be in the interest of both parties to go our separate ways in the future.”
“Yamaha will put in their maximum effort – as we always have done – to give full support to Maverick and finish this season in the very best way possible.”
Despite denying the rumors during Sunday’s press conference, Viñales has now changed his tune as well, saying the following in the company’s press release:
“This partnership has been very significant to me over the last five years, and it proved a difficult decision to part ways.”
“In these seasons together, we experienced both great achievements and tough times. However, the underlying feeling is of mutual respect and appreciation. I am fully committed and will strive to achieve the best results for the rest of the season.”
Maverick Viñales is widely tipped to head to the Aprilia Racing garage for the 2022 MotoGP season, where he will race alongside Aleix Espargaro.
If this part of the rumor pans out to be true as well, it will be a huge boon for the Italian squad, which desperately needs a race-winning rider on the Aprilia RS-GP, in order to take the program forward in its next step.
Aprilia had been eggs in its basket, hoping to lure Andrea Dovizioso out of the shadows, and back onto a grand prix motorcycle.
Dovizioso had just completed a two-day test on the Aprilia RS-GP before this weekend’s news, and it is not clear how Viñales’ departure from Yamaha will affect any plans that may have been brewing between the Italian rider and Italian team.
Of course, now the question becomes as well: who will replace Maverick Viñales on the Yamaha factory MotoGP team in 2022? Could it be Dovi?
Source: Yamaha Racing