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Vinales to leave Yamaha at end of MotoGP season

28 June 2021 - 09:37 By Reuters
Maverick Vinales will leave the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the end of 2021.
Maverick Vinales will leave the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team at the end of 2021.
Image: Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Nine-time MotoGP race winner Maverick Vinales will leave Yamaha at the end of the 2021-22 season after terminating his contract one year early, the team announced on Monday.

Vinales was signed by Yamaha in 2017 as a replacement for Jorge Lorenzo and won three of his first five races.

But the 26-year-old, who had a contract until 2022, was linked with a move to Aprilia after his relationship with Yamaha soured this season.

"Yamaha and Maverick Vinales have mutually decided to terminate their current 2021-2022 agreement at the close of this season," Yamaha said.

"Following Maverick Vinales' request, Yamaha have agreed to put an early end to their current two-year contract."

After winning the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix in March, Vinales failed to secure a podium finish until last weekend's Dutch GP, while his team mate and championship leader Fabio Quartararo won four times.

Vinales also suffered his worst MotoGP weekend in Germany this month where the Spaniard qualified 21st and finished last, while Quartararo came third.

The former Moto3 world champion said it was a difficult decision to part ways with Yahama.

"In these seasons together, we experienced both great achievements and tough times," said Vinales, who won a total of eight races with Yamaha.

"However, the underlying feeling is of mutual respect and appreciation. I am fully committed and will strive to achieve the best results for the rest of the season."

Vinales is sixth in the riders championship on 95 points, 61 points behind leader Quartararo.