Yamaha and Vinales part ways in MotoGP with immediate effect

Yamaha has announced it has parted ways mutually with Maverick Vinales with immediate effect following his suspension from the MotoGP Austrian Grand Prix last week.

After he tried to deliberately damage his M1’s engine during the final laps of the Styrian GP at the Red Bull Ring, Yamaha suspended Vinales and withdrew his entry from the following Austrian GP.

Vinales later apologised publicly to Yamaha, blaming his actions on mounting frustration at his situation during the race and at Yamaha in general.

The nine-time MotoGP race-winner was already set to part ways with Yamaha at the end of the 2021 season after requesting his two-year deal to be terminated early as the relationship between both parties soured irreparably across the campaign.

On Wednesday Motorsport.com reported Yamaha would not allow Vinales to race in next weekend’s British GP, but Yamaha has now confirmed both parties have parted ways with immediate effect.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said: “In Assen Yamaha and Vinales 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.”

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Though a replacement rider is “yet to be determined”, Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow will ride the factory bike at Silverstone, with Moto2 rider Jake Dixon to make his MotoGP debut at Petronas SRT as Franco Morbidelli’s injury stand-in at Silverstone.

Vinales, who joined Yamaha in 2017 and won eight of his nine victories with the marque, said in a press release he will “always have great respect” for Yamaha.

This is the first a rider has parted ways with a team with immediate effect since KTM ousted the already outgoing Johann Zarco from the factory squad following the 2019 San Marino GP.

Vinales will join Aprilia in 2022, after signing a one-year deal with the Italian marque with an option for 2023.

His sudden ending of his ties to Yamaha leaves him free to race elsewhere should the opportunity arise, meaning the door is open for Vinales to make his Aprilia race debut in 2021 should the marque wish it.

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