Maverick Viñales and Yamaha end MotoGP contract with immediate effect


Yamaha and Maverick Viñales and Yamaha have parted ways by mutual agreement after the rider was suspended for hitting the rev limiter. His replacement has yet to be announced

Maverick Vinales


Maverick Viñales and Yamaha have ended their contract mid-season after the rider was suspended for hitting the rev limiter during the Styrian Grand Prix.

The Spaniard, who has signed to Aprilia for 2022 will not ride for Yamaha again this yer.

Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow, who was scheduled to ride for Petronas SRT in the next round at Silverstone, is now expected to move up to the factory outfit for the British Grand Prix, with Moto2 rider Jake Dixon filling in for the injured Franco Morbidelli at the satellite team.

Viñales’s replacement for the rest of the season has yet to be announced.

In June, the 26-year-old announced a “mutual decision” to end his Yamaha contract early at the end of this season, but the relationship came to an end even sooner after a torrid Styrian Grand Prix, where he stalled during a restart, received a long-lap penalty for exceeding track limits and finished last for the second time in three races.

His weekend went from bad to worse when he was then suspended by his team for “irregular operation” of his Yamaha M1. A video then emerged of him revving his bike to the limit in the pitlane.

Viñales missed the following Austrian Grand Prix and was also suspended for the British race.

“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,” said Viñales in a statement. “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.”

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Yamaha Motor Racing team director, Lin Jarvis, said that he had been expecting “maximum efforts” from Viñales until the end of the season and that terminating the contract was best for the team and rider.

“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.”