MotoGP's Vinales leaves Yamaha with immediate effect

·2-min read
Maverick Vinales is to leave Yamaha with immediate effect

Maverick Vinales will leave the Yamaha MotoGP team with immediate effect following disagreements between the two, the Japanese manufacturer said in a statement on Friday.

After the Dutch GP at the end of June, it was announced that the Spaniard, who has already signed to ride for Aprilia next season, would cut short his contract and leave at the end of the season.

However, that was followed by further problems at the Styrian GP which led to Vinales being suspended and missing the Austrian GP.

"After the Dutch GP it was announced that Yamaha and Maverick Vinales would bring their two-year contract for 2021-2022 to an early closure at the end of the current MotoGP season," Yamaha said in a statement.

"Following recent events at the Styrian GP and after deep consideration by both parties, the mutual decision was reached to separate with immediate effect."

The 26-year-old rider, who won the season-opener in Qatar and is seventh in the world championship, was suspended by Yamaha from the Austrian Grand Prix on suspicion of attempting to damage his bike at the Styrian GP a week earlier.

He will be replaced for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone at the end of the month by Cal Crutchlow, the Briton announced on Twitter.

Vinales stalled when the Styrian GP restarted after a crash and, making a litany of complaints about technical problems, had dropped to last when he pulled into the pits on the final lap.

Yamaha then suspended the rider, accusing him of "unexplained misuse of the bike" which could have caused significant damage to the machine.

After his win in the opening race, Vinales struggled to match Yamaha team-mate Fabio Quartararo. While Vinales could only manage one second place in the next nine races, the Frenchman won four and is the runaway leader in the world championships.

"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," Lin Jarvis, the Yamaha racing managing director said in a team statement on Friday.

Vinales apologised for his behaviour before announcing his deal with Aprilia for next season.

"I will always have great respect for Yamaha and wish them the very best," said Vinales on Friday.

Crutchlow came out of retirement at 35 to stand in for injured Italian rider Franco Morbidelli on Yamaha satellite team SRT at the Austrian GP and finished last.

He will be replaced at SRT at Silverstone by another Briton, the young hopeful Jake Dixon.


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