Now it's official: the decision to terminate the existing two-year contract between Vinales and Yamaha early and the subsequent suspension due to what happened at the Styrian GP has turned into a divorce.
A divorce that irrespective of the press release, being ‘political’, means a transaction between the two sides, each of which will have decided to give up something. This is to avoid recourse to legal action which would certainly have lengthened the process. And since this is an agreement that ranged between 6.5 and 8 million euros, it cannot have been easy to deal with lightly.
Having said that now both Vinales and Yamaha have their own problems to solve.
Maverick can't afford not to compete until the end of the year. The divorce would presuppose that Yamaha has left him free, so as a result we might see him again with immediate effect on the Aprilia.
Maybe it is even more difficult for Yamaha to find a solution: Cal Crutchlow will probably race at Silverstone, but we doubt that the British rider can be used until the end of the year. Darryn Binder, Jake Dixon and Jake Gagne are on early warning. We are not talking about experienced MotoGP riders, but only temporary replacements, waiting for a definitive solution that seems difficult to achieve.
If we look at KTM and Ducati, the best young riders are already under contract, so Yamaha's policy will certainly have to be revised.
The press release:
After the Dutch GP (28 June 2021) it was announced that Yamaha and Maverick Viñales would bring their two-year contract for 2021-2022 to an early closure at the end of the current MotoGP season.
Following recent events at the Styrian GP and after deep consideration by both parties, the mutual decision was reached to separate with immediate effect.
“In Assen Yamaha and Viñales already announced the mutual decision to cut short their original 2021-2022 programme and to finish it at the end of 2021 - explained Lin Jarvis, managing director of Yamaha Motor Racing - 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‘.
“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.
“I would like to express Yamaha‘s sincere gratitude to Maverick. Yamaha will continue to cherish the good memories and appreciate the work both parties put into the 4.5 years spent together that brought us 8 race victories, 24 podiums, and two third places in the 2017 and 2019 overall rider standings.
“We wish Maverick all the very best in his future endeavours.”
“Following our mutual decision in Assen to part ways a year early, it was also decided to commit to completing the current season with maximum effort from both sides - was the formal reply from Maverick Vinales - However, at the Styrian GP the race didn‘t turn out as we had hoped, and regrettably it did not end well.
“After thorough consideration both parties have agreed it would be best to end the partnership with immediate effect.
“I am deeply grateful to Yamaha for the great opportunity. I am also thankful for the support they gave me during these 4.5 years of racing and will look back with pride on the results we achieved together.
“I will always have great respect for Yamaha and wish them the very best.”