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MotoGP Driver Maverick Viñales to leave Yamaha

Written by Georgina Clissold, Edited by Esmée Koppius

Earlier today it was announced that Spanish MotoGP driver Maverick Viñales is set to part ways with Yamaha at the end of the 2021 season. The Spaniard had signed a two-year contract with Monster Energy Yamaha to compete up until the end of the 2022 season.

This isn’t the first time that Viñales has left a team mid-way through a contract, in 2012 the then 17 year old shocked both fans and the media when he withdrew from the Malaysian Moto3 Race and flew home (before returning to the team for the final two races of the season).

Maverick in name and nature, Viñales has struggled for consistency throughout the season so far, despite winning in Qatar at the start of the year the MotoGP driver has been outperformed by his teammate Fabio Quartararo with the pair standing sixth and first in the championship respectively.

Whilst Viñales’ statement regarding his departure from the team was courteous and the decision was built on ‘mutual respect and appreciation’ it’s thought the relationship between driver and team broke apart after the Spaniard’s shocking result at Sachsenring in Germany earlier in the month.

Commenting on his last-place finish at the German MotoGP Viñales said:

“In Sachsenring I wanted to go home on Friday already because it was a disaster weekend. I explained everything, but we were not able to improve.”

“I’ve never been in [last] position in my life, not even when I started racing. The result was very painful. It was disrespectful for myself as a rider. It’s difficult to forget, honestly. It makes me think a lot.”

The only factory MotoGP team seat still available for the 2022 season is now with Aprilia, though the Italian factory have not commented on the departure – so far.

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