Yamaha has this morning made the call that everyone was expecting and the firm and ‘Maverick Viñales have mutually decided to end their partnership with immediate effect’.
After the Assen GP in late June it was announced that Viñales’ time with Yamaha would end mid-way through the current two-year contract - at the end of the 2021 season - however, the troubling events at the StyrianGP brought tensions further to the boil.
With the Spaniard’s announcement as an Aprilia rider for 2022 confirmed earlier this week and ‘after deep consideration by both parties’, the decision was reached to separate with immediate effect.
Viñales’ replacement for the remaining 2021 races has yet to be confirmed with expectations leaning towards current M1 test rider, Cal Crutchlow. While the decision leaves the 26-year-old free to take up his Aprilia commitments early if desired - Lorenzo Savadori having broken his ankle after the dramatic fireball crash during the first of Austria’s two race weekends.
“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,” Viñales stated.
“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,” he concluded
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis confirmed via the official statement: “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.”