Vinales and Rins on our radar, admits Yamaha

Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis has admitted interest in Maverick Vinales and Alex Rins as possible future candidates for seats with the Japanese manufacturer.

Vinales and Rins on our radar, admits Yamaha
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing and winner and 2015 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Alex Rins, Pons racing
Podium: winner Alex Rins
Johann Zarco, Ajo Motorsport and Alex Rins

The 2016 season is set to be a crucial one for the MotoGP rider market, as virtually all of the sport's top riders' contracts expire at the end of the year – including current factory Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Tensions between the pair that surfaced at the end of last season amid their bitter title fight raised questions over whether Rossi and Lorenzo could realistically continue in the same team long-term.

And Jarvis admits that the manufacturer has already given plenty of consideration to possible replacements, with Suzuki rider and 2015 rookie of the year Vinales in particular viewed as hot property.

"Maverick Vinales already has MotoGP experience – I don't know the details of his contract with Suzuki, but I suspect that it was for two years with an option for 2017," the Briton told Speedweek.

"He's a very good rider, so it's normal that he can attract the attention of Yamaha and the other factory teams in MotoGP."

Rins has also caught the eye of the MotoGP paddock with an assured rookie campaign in Moto2 in 2015 that yielded two wins and second in the points behind a dominant Johann Zarco.

While Rins will stay in the intermediate category this year, Jarvis says the young Spaniard is very much on Yamaha's "wish list" for 2017, with a satellite Tech 3 ride thought to be a possibility.

"I think that Alex Rins made the right decision to stay in Moto2 for a second year," he said.

"Without doubt he's a talented rider and a good candidate to ride for Yamaha in future. He is of course on our wish list – he made a few mistakes in 2015, but proved very fast."

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