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Yamaha Confirms Two Year MotoGP Contract with Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

Team Suzuki Ecstar MotoGP rider Maverick Viñales has officially announced he is moving to the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team beginning next year where he will replace Jorge Lorenzo as teammate of Valentino Rossi. Viñales has a two-year deal through the end of the 2018 series.

Here is the press release from Yamaha:

It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces the signing of Maverick Viñales to ride for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team for 2017 and 2018. Viñales, who is presently fifth in the MotoGP™ Championship standings, will partner nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi, whose contract renewal was already announced in March this year.

Maverick Viñales, born in Figueres (Spain) on 12th January 1995, made his World Championship debut in 2011 in the 125cc Class. His racing career highlights include the victory of the Moto3™ World Championship in 2013 as well as 3 ‘Rookie of the Year’ awards in 2011 (125cc), 2014 (Moto2™) and 2015 (MotoGP™).

Here is the release from Suzuki Motor Corporation:

Suzuki Motor Corporation announces that its collaboration with Maverick Viñales will come to an end after the 2016 MotoGP season.

All the Suzuki family is extremely grateful to Viñales for his contribution to the growth of the MotoGP™ project and the development of the GSX-RR, as well as for the great results they have achieved together.

Since the 2016 season is still under way, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and Suzuki Motor Corporation will continue their unconditioned support to Maverick, looking forward to even better results in the remaining MotoGP races.

We wish all the best to Maverick Viñales for a bright and successful future.

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  1. Curly says:

    I think I’m going to enjoy the Vinny and Vale show. Maverick stayed a near perfect 0.094 second behind the master of Mugello for qualfying. That was fun to watch. That Suzuki is not slow at all and Vinales had it right on the edge.

  2. Curly says:

    Got to love this young man staying a respectful 0.005 second behind his future team mate for FP2 in Mugello.

  3. Hot Dog says:

    The wall will be built, as soon as Mav consistently beats the “Greatest T-Shirt Salesman of All Time”. It will happen soon, and it will be harsh.

    • ze says:

      And will “Mav” beat his records as well ?

      • Hot Dog says:

        I don’t believe that he can beat Rossi’s records, as I think there’s too many good riders/machinery now.

    • VLJ says:

      Hey, Hot Dog, do you suppose today’s performance by #46 will sell a few more t-shirts?

  4. North of Missoula says:

    This is a hard kick in the groin to Suzuki. MotoGP is as competitive off the track as it is on it. To succeed Suzuki is going to have to step up to the plate.

    • Pacer says:

      I think they tried. Lorenzo’s departure really messed things up for them. What are the chances someone leaves the bike they just won a championship on?

      • VlJ says:

        Rossi and his “It takes big balls to switch teams. I don’t think Jorge will do it” comment got to Lorenzo. Otherwise, yeah, why leave your successful home to go to a bike and team that haven’t won anything since George W. was the president?

        It’s not like he needed the money.

        • pacer says:

          Plus Rossi did it in 04 (Honda/Yamaha). I have a feeling Lorenzo wants to do it on a bike Rossi couldn’t (Yamaha/Ducati).

          • VLJ says:

            That will be the narrative, should it happen, even though it bares no resemblance to reality. Lorenzo won’t be riding the trainwreck Rossi rode at Ducati. The bike Jorge will take over is already a consistent frontrunner.

          • TexinOhio says:

            If that were true JL would need to get the bike Rossi was running back then.

            Also as I’ve stated before Ducati going to need to turn their bike into an M1 for JL. If not and it remains as aggressive a bike as it is, JL will be sorely disappointed.

    • Fivespeed302 says:

      “Dodge Challenger, I didn’t know they sold those to men.” -Burt Reynolds

  5. Jdilpkle says:

    It’s gonna be different seeing JL wearing red next year. I’m curious to see how the Duc behaves under him and his riding style.

  6. Buzz says:

    Does Goose ride Pillion during the race?

  7. Gutterslob says:

    Maverick becomes wingman. Only in MotoGP!!

  8. VLJ says:

    With Rossi being thirty-eight next year and Mav still working through puberty, the Yamaha garage is going to look a lot like the Chris Paul/Kevin Love “Hawks and Hornets” commercials, with the father/son talks about the birds and the bees.

  9. Vrooom says:

    Maverick’s moving on up. I figured Suzuki would do what it had to in order to keep him, but no question at least right off the bat he’ll be more competitive on the Yamaha. Suzuki seems to have solved their top speed issue from last year, and it corners well, but Yamaha is king in this series.

    • Pacer says:

      I think Innone will do fine on the Suzuki. I think their learning curve is better than the Ducati. I also believe Maverick will get alien status.

  10. Crim says:

    Good move for Mav. He’ll only have to put up with VR for two years and then he’s the lead dog.

    • Will Parker says:

      Yea but he’s Spanish. So does this mean a return of the divided Garage thingy?

    • MotoBot says:

      MotoBot will be lead dog. All hail MotoBot.


      • Big Al says:

        Yah Motobot. You are saying that this could finaly be the teammate Rossi has been looking for. You put so eloquently that I was instantly convinced.