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Maverick Viñales Officially With Aprilia MotoGP in 2022

Maverick Viñales, currently under suspension from his Yamaha MotoGP team, will join Aleix Espargaró as a rider for the Aprilia factory team in MotoGP next year. Viñales is a former Moto3 World champion with nine wins in the MotoGP category. Known almost as much for his inconsistency as his, occasional, blinding speed, Viñales and Aprilia might nevertheless be a potent combination, and a fresh start for the Spaniard.

Here is the press release from Aprilia:

MAVERICK VIÑALES TO RACE WITH APRILIA IN 2022

ON THE OCCASION OF ITS RETURN TO MOTOGP AS A FACTORY TEAM, APRILIA WELCOMES A GREAT CHAMPION TO JOIN ALEIX ESPARGARÓ: WELCOME MAVERICK!

It is with great pleasure that Aprilia welcomes Maverick Viñales to the Aprilia Racing factory team.

This completes the official team for the 2022 MotoGP season, with Maverick coming alongside Aleix Espargaró astride the RS-GP. The Spanish rider has signed an annual contract with an option for renewal.

The signing of Viñales is another step in the Italian team’s growth and development strategy, which comes just in the year of the transition to a factory team. Two events that testify to Aprilia’s desire to continue to grow in the top category of world motorcycling.

Born in 1995, Maverick Viñales made his début in World Championship GP Motorcycle Racing in 2011 astride an Aprilia in the 125 category, taking 4 wins and 5 podiums, making him the best rookie of the season and finishing third overall. After another high-level season, he won the Moto3 World Title in 2013 before moving up to Moto2 the next season. Thanks to the potential demonstrated in the intermediate class, he earned a seat in MotoGP from the 2015 season with Suzuki and on Yamaha from 2017.

In the premier class Viñales has taken 9 wins, 13 pole positions and 28 podium finishes, in addition to two overall third places as his best final placement in the rider standings.

MASSIMO RIVOLA – APRILIA RACING CEO
“We are extremely happy to announce that we have signed Maverick Viñales, a very high-level rider and one of the purest talents in the premier category. Our project has now been enriched with the value that Maverick brings – a World Champion who has confirmed his talent as a top rider in MotoGP – at a time of great change, after bringing a completely revamped bike to the track and having consistently established ourselves in the group of protagonists, we are also facing a switch in status as a Factory Team now, in order to take Aprilia to success. We are honoured to be able to make all of our best skills available to Viñales along with our enthusiasm and our passion. I am confident that, like Aleix, he will embrace this extremely high-potential project. The arrival of Maverick in no way distances Lorenzo Savadori from the team, as he will remain an integral part of the Aprilia Racing family.”

25 Comments

  1. mickey says:

    Just read Maverick and Yamaha have mutually split ways immediately.

  2. fred B says:

    sorry Vinales there is a new bunch of kids in town. MM may try to blow his Honda up before its over, and there is a new bunch behind them.

  3. mickey says:

    I’m shocked although I guess I shouldn’t be. Aprilia expressed interest in him before. I am a little surprised that they are ignoring this latest fit though. Aprilia is desperate to get a top notch rider who can do better than A. Espargaro, and Vinales is a top notch racer…sometimes. I don’t remember him ever being called good at development though and Aprilia not only needs a top notch rider they also need a top notch developer if they want to go any further, unless they think their bike is good enough as is. Dovi would have been a better fit, but I think Dovi discovered Aprilia needs a lot more development work than he is willing to provide. he also wants a competent product while he still has time to do something with it.

    my prediciton..by summer break 2022 Vinales will be complaining that Aprilia can’t make a bike that can take advantage of his incredible talent.

  4. Ricardo says:

    The more I learn about some of these racers and their childish tantrums and their inability to cope with their flaws and sometimes lack of skills, the more I admire Dr. Rossi, always composed and polite to say things, a true gentleman racer. So much to learn from him and a few of these kids did not take advantage while Rossi is still racing.

    • Motoman says:

      Rossi wasn’t always a gentleman racer. Was kind of a dick sometimes. Ask Sete G. how he feels. Or Max B.

      • VLJ says:

        Ask any of Rossi’s former employers. He was the consummate professional, up to and including punting Sete and Max if it meant a chance of winning, which benefitted said employers.

        Rossi was never one of those racers who constantly threw his team under the bus, even when he easily could have done so. For much of his career, Rossi was far better at his job than his engineers were at theirs. He was a true pro.

        “Gentleman racer”?

        Not always. Nope. Still, for the most part, the other racers did not mind sharing the track with Rossi. He was certainly no Iannone, never mind a Marc Marquez. Rossi generally raced fairly, predictably, honorably. He wasn’t a constant threat to the safety of others. He wasn’t a reckless, self-centered maniac.

        • Anonymous says:

          Agree with you VLJ. Just thought Ricardo was a little over the top with his praise of Rossi. He’s human too.

  5. Lawrence says:

    Gotta be some mob connections there somewhere. Over-rev da bosses’ bike and yous gonna be sorry….

  6. Tommy D says:

    An Italian company hiring a hothead. Sounds reasonable to me. Should make for great TV. Looking forward to it. I say he gets a podium at the start of the season and then becomes a backmarker by the break.

  7. Doc Sarvis says:

    He is no bueno in la cabeza.

  8. Mike Simmons says:

    He may do OK with Aprilia if he can control his temper tantrums…. and his mouth….

  9. Jabe says:

    I lost respect for Vinales some time ago with his constant excuses and trash talking his team. His biggest problem goes by the name of Quartararo. Ever since he showed up, Vinales’ world started to go sideways. I watched the video of his last race, what an idiotic punk move. I hope Yamaha shuts the door in his face for the remainder of the season. Maybe he should pay for the motor he was trying to wreck. Really curious what Aprilla see’s in him.

    • Mike R says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Vinales asked for respect which isn’t earned from temper tantrums caused by your more talented teammate winning and leading the championship. The problem isn’t the bike, the team or Yamaha – its Maverick’s immaturity and inability to accept his inconsistency.

    • Jeremy says:

      I agree with you concerning Mav’s lack of psychological fortitude and professionalism.

      As far as what Aprilia sees in him, I think that is pretty obvious – a first podium. As loyal as they are to Aleix, I think Aprilia has accepted that he isn’t an elite rider. Viñales has his issues, but he can undoubtedly be very, very fast sometimes.

  10. Tom K. says:

    Who would’ve thought “Aprilia” translates to “Masochist” in English?

    Goes to prove the old maxim, “No matter how big her butt is, there’s always a dude at the bar who will be thrilled to buy her drinks and take her home”.

    • Mick says:

      This guy is a professional motorcycle racer. If he has an ounce of maturity, which is a little questionable at this point, he might really be making a good move. At Yamaha he has to win. At Aprilia he just needs to get decent results. He can occasionally deliver good results, and he just might deliver the best average results on the team.

      If your job is to race DieselGP bikes for a living, you might want to race for a team that doesn’t expect you to beat your teammate who currently the guy to beat. Particularly if that frustrates you a great deal.

      He could race for Aprilia for a decade and be stress free by comparison.

      There are racers, and there are professional racers. Racing is what gets food into a professional racer’s mouth. If it’s what he loves to do. Then he never works a day in his life.

      Winning is nice. But he is basically an actor for the commercial that is the racing series in general. All he really needs is the salary. He’ll be fine.

  11. Dave says:

    I wonder if this is the end of any hope that we’ll see Dovi return to the grid?

    • Jeremy says:

      I was pretty sure he was done when he didn’t take the Aprilia offer right away. I think there is too much talent in the lower ranks for anyone to pay Dovi, at his age, the salary he thinks he deserves.

  12. Todd says:

    It will be interesting to see what they are paying him.Right now I think he is the 2nd highest paid rider and 2nd in most wins in Moto GP ‘s current riders. He is still only 26. Good move by Aprilia and Mavericks only move on a factory ride. I think Maverick will be a bit more humble as this will be his last chance with a factory ride if he implodes, calls out Aprilia or his team this time around.I wish him the best as long as he is a little more humble and takes a team approach win or lose.

  13. Tom R says:

    This is like a pro football team signing Johnny Manziel.

    “Gosh, it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

    • VLJ says:

      It’s nothing like that. Manziel was a total bust in the NFL. He never did a thing. Maverick has won a lot of races and garnered a lot of podiums and pole positions in MotoGP. He’s a proven top-level talent.

      Also, Manziel was lazy. He didn’t work at his craft. He merely cashed checks. Say what you will about Maverick’s immaturity, but absolutely no one has ever accused Maverick of not being a very hard worker. He gives his best, every time. He wants to win, badly.

  14. Carl says:

    All those who said a Vinales would never race again………….

    • L. Ron Jeremy says:

      …will probably cheer when Mav again acts like a toddler who wants what he wants when he wants it and then cries like a whiny little bitch when he doesn’t get it.