Yamaha have announced the signing of Maverick Vinales to their factory MotoGP squad on a two-year contract, starting in 2017. The young Spaniard will partner Valentino Rossi at Movistar Yamaha next year, replacing Jorge Lorenzo who is departing for Ducati.
The news brings an end to Vinales’ two year association with Team Suzuki ECSTAR which has so far seen him score 146 points, including front row starts at Catalunya and Qatar and a maiden MotoGP podium finish at Le Mans last time out. In a statement released this morning, Suzuki have thanked Vinales for his contribution in moving the team up the order.
“All the Suzuki family is extremely grateful to Viñales for his contribution to the growth of the MotoGP™ project and the development of the GSX-RR, as well as for the great results they have achieved together. Since the 2016 season is still under way, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR and Suzuki Motor Corporation will continue their unconditioned support to Maverick, looking forward to even better results in the remaining MotoGP races. We wish all the best to Maverick Viñales for a bright and successful future.”
The signing of Vinales comes after months of speculation surrounding his future, which saw him at the centre of a tug of war between Yamaha and Suzuki, who have already signed Andrea Iannone as Vinales’ replacement.