Maverick Vinales will not race with Yamaha for the remainder of the 2021 season, effective immediately as Yamaha terminated his contract following a high-profile incident where Vinales allegedly tried to blow up the engine of his Yamaha YZR-M1.
Vinales claimed his engine had misfired and that his dashboard was giving him strange information and ended up entering the pit on the last lap to retire while the data available to Yamaha and the on-board videos had, however, shown that Vinales voluntarily took his machine to the switch.
Initially, Yamaha suspended Vinales, stating that he risked “significant damage” to his engine and made “a serious risk for himself and potentially […] for all the other pilots”. They have now decided to terminate all dealings with the Spaniard.
“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. 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’,” a statement from Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing read.
“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,” Jarvis concluded.