About 2 weeks ago, Yamaha suspended its rider, Maverick Viñales (MVK12) for what they believe is deliberately trying to destroy the YZR-M1’s engine during the race. After avoiding interviews and remaining quiet for a few days, MVK12 issued a public apology and admitted that his frustration got the better of him.
Though it was earlier agreed that both parties will part ways in the end of the 2021 MotoGP season, it was understood that they'd give their 100% to the remaining races of 2021. However, what happened in the Styrian GP eventually led to both parties agreeing to terminate their contract earlier than planned.
“In Assen, Yamaha and Viñales already announced the mutual decision to cut short their original 2021-2022 program 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',” said Lin Jarvis, Yamaha’s racing managing director.
“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,” added Jarvis.
Rumors about MVK12 moving to Aprilia have been circulating for quite some time now. Last week, Aprilia Racing confirmed that the Spaniard will race under their flag in the 2022 MotoGP season, alongside Aleix Espargaro.
“We are extremely happy to announce that we have signed Maverick Viñales, a very high-level rider and one of the purest talents in the premier category. Our project has now been enriched with the value that Maverick brings - a World Champion who has confirmed his talent as a top rider in MotoGP - at a time of great change, after bringing a completely revamped bike to the track and having consistently established ourselves in the group of protagonists, we are also facing a switch in status as a Factory Team now, in order to take Aprilia to success,” said Massimo Rivola, Aprilia Racing CEO.