After a 5-year long partnership that resulted in 13 pole positions, Maverick Viñales and Yamaha will be parting ways. Rumours were rife about Viñales leaving Yamaha but the sudden announcement yesterday came as a shock to many. Vinales had a two-year contract with Yamaha that was to last till the end of 2022. But on the request of the Spanish rider, the two will go their separate ways by the end of this season, one full year before the decided time. As of now, Yamaha has not found a replacement for Viñales and even the Spaniard has not locked deals with any team.
The 26-year old rider said, “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.”
Yamaha and Maverick Viñales agree to part ways in 2022
— Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP (@YamahaMotoGP) June 28, 2021
Lin Jarvis, managing director, Yamaha Motor Racing commented, “It is with sadness that we will say farewell to Maverick at the end of the year. 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.”
According to the statements by both parties, the two are parting ways after coming to a mutual understanding and will strive to give their best till the end of the season. But it is apparent from what both parties said that there has been some friction between them lately which has, in some way, contributed to this early annulment.
The Spaniard displayed a great performance in the recent DutchGP. While he came last in the qualifying rounds in Germany, at the Cathedral of Speed, he clocked the fastest lap in qualifying and started the race in pole position. Even in the main race he was only second to fellow teammate Fabio Quartararo. But it is apparent that the damage caused by the bad results in GermanGP did have a negative effect on the five-year-long relationship between Yamaha and Viñales.
While there is no concrete information on where the Spanish rider is headed next, there have been a number of rumours claiming that he could be joining Aprilia. The Italian team is in need of a rider since it is unclear if Andrea Dovizioso will be on board for the next season or not. In fact, Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola even expressed interest in hiring Vinales and said “We don’t know if Maverick will be on the market for 2022. If he is released by Yamaha, then he will certainly be of interest to us….”
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