Aprilia Racing signs Maverick Viñales after his breakup with Yamaha

Maverick-Viñales

Last week, the Monster Energy Yamaha Moto GP team announced that they will be suspending and withdrawing Maverick Viñales from the Austrian GP. Yamaha’s factory racing team has cited “unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle by the rider” as the reason for Viñales’ suspension.

On Monday, Aprilia announced that the Spanish racer will be riding for the Italian motorcycle racing team Aprilia for the upcoming 2022 MotoGP season.

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"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 Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola.

“We are honored to be able to make all of our best skills available to Viñales along with our enthusiasm and our passion. I am confident that, like Aleix, he will embrace this extremely high-potential project. The arrival of Maverick in no way distances Lorenzo Savadori from the team, as he will remain an integral part of the Aprilia Racing family,” he adds.

Aprilia Racing says that Viñales has signed an annual contract with an option for renewal.

Viñales will be riding with fellow Spaniard, Aleix Espargaró, completing Aprilia Racing’s 2022 season roster. According to Aprilia, the signing of Viñales is another step in the Italian team's growth and development strategy, which comes just in the year of the transition to a factory team.

Both Viñales and Espargaró were former Suzuki teammates and are now reunited under the Aprilia banner.

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On Friday, last week, Espargaró was presented with the possibility of Viñales joining Aprilia to which he commented, “I would love to have him on board. The Aprilia project, you can’t imagine how it improved the last two or three years. Now sincerely, I remember when I arrived here coming here from Suzuki, thinking wow, there is a lot of work in front of me.”

Espargaró added, “Now this factory is unbelievable. They are working very hard, the potential of the bike is a top bike but it’s still growing. We are on a very top level now. The thing is not how good we are now, but how shiny the future is for us. Having a top rider like Maverick for us would be the next step. I think for him this project suits him very well. I know him well. He will be very happy if he can come here. But apart from him, I think Massimo and Aprilia deserve to sign a strong rider. I know how hard he’s working to sign a strong rider. I wish they can sign Maverick, it would be perfect.”

Team Aprilia counts on Viñales’ outstanding racing records. In 2011, Viñales made his debut in the World Championship GP Motorcycle Racing riding an Aprilia where he took four wins and five podiums. He finished third overall and was dubbed the best rookie of the season.

He also won the Moto3 World Title in 2013 before moving up to Moto2 the following season.

Viñales earned a seat in the big league when he signed with Suzuki for the 2015 season and Yamaha from 2017.

To date, Viñales has taken nine wins, 13 pole positions, and 28 podium finishes, in addition to two overall third places as his best final placement in the rider standings.

Photos from Aprilia Racing and MotoGP

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