Vinales implies sticking with Yamaha ‘a mistake’, hints he is preparing to leave

Mavrerick Vinales can't hide his frustrations as he implies he made a mistake in re-signing with Yamaha to the end of 2022 amid another slump in form

Maverick Vinales - Yamaha MotoGP


Maverick Vinales has dropped a clear hint that he is prepared to quit the Yamaha Factory Racing team in an effort to rediscover his form and consistency, the lack of which has persistently neutered his MotoGP title-challenging aspirations.

The Spaniard has participated in an interview with Spanish broadcaster DAZN, which will be televised this weekend ahead of the Catalunya MotoGP event.

In promos for the spot, Vinales is seen discussing his future openly, implying he made a mistake when deciding to remain with Yamaha for his current contract cycle, which ends at the conclusion of the 2022 MotoGP season.

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"Calmly, very calmly. I don't want to make a mistake again,” he is quoted by MotoGP.com.

“I want to make a good decision, really take the path that best suits me, because, in the end, these years I have had to adapt a lot, especially my riding style, and trying to choose the option that best suits me so that I can fight for the World Championship.

"It doesn't mean that this year I won't have the opportunity, eh? But it frustrates me that I can't get my potential out.

“In the end, there are times when you don't make the best decisions in life. A few years ago I don't think I made the best decision, so I won't be wrong again.”

How did Maverick Vinales make a mistake with Yamaha?

The ‘mistake’ Vinales is referring to is almost certainly his decision to re-sign with Yamaha for the 2021 and 2022 MotoGP season, instead of accepting an offer to join Ducati instead. 

The announcement of his current contract came in January 2020 and was followed by confirmation Fabio Quartararo - who was also approached by Ducati - would replace Valentino Rossi in the Factory squad.

Since then Vinales’ fluctuating form - sometimes wildly - has made the Spaniard one of MotoGP’s most complex enigmas… even to himself.

Often rapid over a single lap, Vinales has on occasion translated that into some extraordinarily dominant race day performances. Even this season Vinales has topped the podium, winning the opening round of the 2021 MotoGP season with a meticulous and well-judged effort in Qatar. 

However, his eight career wins - two of which came in his first two races with Yamaha in 2017 - have been interspersed with slumps in form that even Vinales struggles to explain, dampening his attempts at launching the title tilt many felt he should be capable of with Yamaha.

Indeed, since his win in Qatar Vinales has achieved just one top six result and has been outshone by triple race winner and series leader Quartararo.

It has led to the exit of Vinales’ crew chief Esteban Garcia, who has been replaced with ex-Rossi aide Silvano Galbusera for the remainder of the year. It is a decision Vinales was quick to point out on Thursday was made by Yamaha, adding he didn’t ask for what is a significant change to make  mid-season.

The interview is likely to raise talk over whether Vinales will even see the end of his Yamaha deal with neither party likely to want to continue unwillingly. However, he would find few attractive alternative opportunities given the most riders are mid-way through a contract cycle.

However, Yamaha could see it as an opportunity to force him into the satellite Petronas SRT team instead, swapping him out for Franco Morbdelli who - as it stands - would be a logical choice to replace Vinales.

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