Maverick Vinales confirmed with Aprilia for 2022 MotoGP season

Maverick Vinales will swap from Yamaha to Aprilia for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship after signing a 1+1 deal with the Italian manufacturer

Maverick Vinales - Yamaha Factory Racing

Maverick Vinales will compete with Aprilia Racing for the 2022 MotoGP World Championship season, the team has formally confirmed.

The Spaniard has been strongly linked with the Italian manufacturer ever since it was revealed he would be splitting with the Yamaha Factory Racing team a year earlier than anticipated at the end of the 2021 season.

The deal - which will cover 2022 but has an ‘option’ for 2023 - will see him join forces with Aleix Espargaro, who will enter into his sixth season with the Italian manufacturer.

"We are extremely happy to announce that we have signed Maverick Viñales, a very high-level rider and one of the purest talents in the premier category," said Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola.

"Our project has now been enriched with the value that Maverick brings - a World Champion who has confirmed his talent as a top rider in MotoGP - at a time of great change, after bringing a completely revamped bike to the track and having consistently established ourselves in the group of protagonists, we are also facing a switch in status as a Factory Team now, in order to take Aprilia to success.

Though Aprilia is yet to achieve a podium since its return to the premier class in 2015 - with a best result still of only sixth place - it has shown a marked step forward in the hands of Espargaro this season. Vinales' announcement spells an exit for Lorenzo Savadori, who was signed this year as the full-time replacement for Andrea Iannone, who is currently serving a four-year suspension for a failed drugs test.

"We are honoured to be able to make all of our best skills available to Viñales along with our enthusiasm and our passion. I am confident that, like Aleix, he will embrace this extremely high-potential project. The arrival of Maverick in no way distances Lorenzo Savadori from the team, as he will remain an integral part of the Aprilia Racing family."

Maverick Vinales assures 2022 deal amid future MotoGP uncertainty

The deal comes at a turmultuous time for Vinales, who could be forced to sit out the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season in the wake of a controversial suspension from his Yamaha team. 

With relations already strained by Vinales' vocal criticism of the Yamaha M1, leading to the annullment of his contract earlier than anticipated, the team suspended him for the Austrian MotoGP when footage emerged of him deliberately over-revving the bike, thus damaging the engine.

Yamaha is still to decide whether to allow Vinales to see out the season.