Vinales gets new Yamaha MotoGP contract to run until end of 2022

Vinales gets new Yamaha contract to end of 2022

Yamaha has extended Maverick Vinales's contract for two more years to the end of 2022, marking the completion of the first major deal of the '20 MotoGP silly season.

The 2013 Moto3 world champion joined Yamaha from Suzuki in 2017, and has so far scored six wins - including two last year - on the YZR-M1 across his three seasons with the team.

Vinales's previous contract was agreed during Yamaha's launch event at the start of 2018, but his generally poor form during the last campaign suggested a repeat of such an early signing was unlikely.

But, as his extension was announced, Vinales explained he didn't want his 2021 future weighing on his mind during the early phase of the season and saw "no reason not to stay with Yamaha".

"I'm extremely happy because I feel like I get to keep my own team," said Vinales, who finished third in the standings last year.

"This will be the second year with my current crew, and after this I have two more years to look forward to.

"I'm so excited! I think that if we keep working really hard we are heading the right way.

"For me, it was very important to make this announcement before the season started, because I'm highly motivated and want to be able to fully concentrate on the 2020 season.

"I don't want to spend too much time thinking about the future.

"There were no reasons not to stay with Yamaha, because they feel like family.

Vinales gets new Yamaha contract to end of 2022

"Yamaha is giving me a lot of support and, as I said, I have 'my own team', which is something I really need.

"We need to keep working and be very strong. Our main objective is, as always, to be world champion and try to bring Yamaha the number one honour again.

"I will try my best. For sure, I will give everything I have to make our team proud too.

"I would like to say thank you to Yamaha for their faith in me. They are giving me a lot of confidence, and I really have trust in our partnership.

"I think we will both be growing very fast and we will keep pushing."

Vinales had been linked to a potential move to Ducati, and the Italian marque did not rule out the possibility when asked about it last year.

This announcement now casts some doubt on Valentino Rossi's future inside the factory Yamaha team, with last year's Petronas SRT rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo highly likely to be given a promotion to the works squad.

Rossi has previously stated he wants to see how he performs in the opening 2020 races before committing to a career extension, and has not ruled out moving to SRT if there is no space for him at the works team.

Yamaha will officially launch its 2020 season on the eve of the first test of the year at Sepang on February 6.

Get unlimited access to the world’s best motorsport journalism with Autosport Plus