Monster Energy Yamaha struck first in the 2020 riders market as they announced Maverick Vinales will stay until the end of 2022.
Vinales had a brilliant 2019 season with victories at Assen and Sepang, and like many riders was scheduled to be a free agent at the end of 2020.
However, Yamaha made sure to keep their star man and continue what has been a highly productive collaboration since 2017.
Since joining the team, Vinales has managed six wins and thirteen other podiums in those three seasons.
One of the main reasons for 2019 being his best season to date in the top class, was the team support around him.
The Spaniard felt this was key to staying with the team beyond this year: “I’m extremely happy because I feel like I get to keep ‘my own team’.
This will be the second year with my current crew, and after this I have two more years to look forward to. I’m so excited! I think that if we keep working really hard we are heading the right way.”
Vinales highlighted the importance of signing before the season started as it gives him the chance to focus solely on racing.
“For me, it was very important to make this announcement before the season started, because I’m highly motivated and want to be able to fully concentrate on the 2020 season. I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the future.
We need to keep working and be very strong. Our main objective is, as always, to be World Champion and try to bring Yamaha the number one honour again. I will try my best. For sure, I will give everything I have to make our team proud too.”
Towards the end of 2019, Vinales consistently became the top challenger to eventual World Champion Marc Marquez.
With the current team around Vinales and timely progress Yamaha made in the second half of last season, this new deal could be the first step to competing more regularly with Marquez for championship honors.