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Yamaha MotoGP and Maverick Viñales Part Ways, Effective Immediately

Maverick Viñales and Lin Jarvis

Yamaha MotoGP and Maverick Viñales have had a bumpy ride together this year. Unhappy with Yamaha, Viñales negotiated an early termination of his contract so that he could go elsewhere next year. Next, Viñales was suspended by Yamaha for allegedly trying to damage his M1 race bike at the Styrian GP.

Earlier today, Yamaha and Viñales have called it quits, effective immediately. Viñales has already signed a contract with the Aprilia MotoGP team. Could we see Viñales race an Aprilia MotoGP bike this year? It is definitely a possibility, now.

Here is the press release:

Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 20th August 2021 – After the Dutch GP (28 June 2021) it was announced that Yamaha and Maverick Viñales would bring their two-year contract for 2021-2022 to an early closure at the end of the current MotoGP season.

Following recent events at the Styrian GP and after deep consideration by both parties, the mutual decision was reached to separate with immediate effect.

“In Assen Yamaha and Viñales already announced the mutual decision to cut short their original 2021-2022 programme and to finish it at the end of 2021. A commitment was made by both rider and team to continue to the end of the current season, with the team guaranteeing its full support and the rider giving his maximum efforts so that we could finish the project ’in style‘.

“Regretfully at the Styrian GP the race did not go well or end well and consequently after deep consideration by both parties, the mutual decision was reached that it would be better for both parties if we end the partnership earlier. The early separation will release the rider to be free to follow his chosen future direction and will also permit the team to focus its efforts on the remaining races of the 2021 season with a replacement rider – yet to be determined.

“I would like to express Yamaha‘s sincere gratitude to Maverick. Yamaha will continue to cherish the good memories and appreciate the work both parties put into the 4.5 years spent together that brought us 8 race victories, 24 podiums, and two third places in the 2017 and 2019 overall rider standings.

“We wish Maverick all the very best in his future endeavours.”

“Following our mutual decision in Assen to part ways a year early, it was also decided to commit to completing the current season with maximum effort from both sides. However, at the Styrian GP the race didn‘t turn out as we had hoped, and regrettably it did not end well.

“After thorough consideration both parties have agreed it would be best to end the partnership with immediate effect.

“I am deeply grateful to Yamaha for the great opportunity. I am also thankful for the support they gave me during these 4.5 years of racing and will look back with pride on the results we achieved together.

“I will always have great respect for Yamaha and wish them the very best.”


  1. Ricardo says:

    Put Rossi as the replacement rider for the rest of the season, I am sure he will do great and retire in style as well as complete his 200th podium finish record!

  2. Doc Sarvis says:

    Mav looks like a younger Rand Paul and I like those two about the same, which is not at all.

  3. Gary says:

    I’ll bet the bigwigs at Aprilia are plenty nervous. I know I would be.

  4. Donk says:

    I hope Morbidelli gets the factory ride next year. Viñales was never consistent and always blamed the bike.

  5. Terry says:

    I wouldn’t let him ride my bike

  6. Jeremy says:

    I wonder if there was a clause in the contract that would prevent Viñales from riding for another manufacturer this year.

    • Brinskee says:

      From the press release, “The early separation will release the rider to be free to follow his chosen future direction…”

      My take is yes.

      That being said I still wonder if he’s going to be handed the keys to the Aprilia this year… or next…

      • Jeremy says:

        Well, they do need another rider. I believe Savadori is injured, and he is their test rider anyway. Seems like Aprilia would want Viñales on the machine ASAP to begin development for the 2022 bike. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  7. Mick says:

    Sounds like ol’ Maxi baby really crossed the line.

    Some people’s kids.

  8. L. Ron Jeremy says:

    That makes sense to me, as it allows Yamaha to have Crutchlow ride the machine and preserve their limited number of engines, while allowing Vinales free time to contemplate his navel.

    • mickey says:

      “while allowing Vinales free time to contemplate his navel.” That’s funny.

      I guess when you are in your 20’s and already have plenty of money, it’s ok to bust on the people that paid you all that money. Especially when you have another ride waiting in the wings.

      If Vinales and Aprilia haven’t negotiated salary yet, Aprilia’s hand just got a bit stronger.

      • Winky says:

        I’m not sure if I would trust the professionalism of someone who tried to bomb the engine on purpose. Actually, I’m sure I wouldn’t.

        • HS1… says:

          I’d be just as worried about Mav being too clueless to realize that the telemetry data he looks at daily means that every detail of his “engine bomb attempt” was being broadcasted to his employer and permanently saved. He was without a contract and cost himself a lot of money and the ability to get a top seat in the future.

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