Maverick Viñales Confirmed With Aprilia For 2022, Option For 2023

Aprilia have confirmed that Maverick Viñales will be joining the Italian factory for the 2022 MotoGP season, with an option to continue for 2023. The Spaniard will join Aleix Espargaro in the Aprilia Racing factory team once Viñales' contract with Yamaha expires at the end of the current year.

The news had been widely expected, after Viñales made a shock announcement just after the Assen round that he would be leaving Yamaha at the end of 2021, halfway through his two-year contract. Rumors linking Viñales to Aprilia emerged during the Assen round, as rumors of the split with Yamaha leaked that weekend.

The deal had been a long time in the making, however. The announcement had been expected in the week ahead of the first race at the Red Bull Ring over a week ago. The news that Yamaha had suspended Viñales for the second Austria round after he had intentionally over-revved his Yamaha M1 during the Styria race cast further doubt on the deal. But that has not proved to be an obstacle.

Aprilia is hoping that Maverick Viñales is the last piece of the puzzle for the Noale factory. Having a proven top rider alongside Aleix Espargaro is what they wanted to help the Aprilia RS-GP make the next step to becoming a podium-worthy motorcycle.

They have had a difficult run with second riders, of their own making, for the most part. Sam Lowes and Scott Redding were given a single year to prove themselves, and never appeared to enjoy the support of the management which Espargaro seemed to have. Andrea Iannone got off to a rocky start with Aprilia, and never made the impact that the factory hoped, only to be suspended for a doping infractoin at the end of his first year.

Whether Maverick Viñales will fare any better is the big unknown. The Spaniard is unquestionably talented, but has not proved easy to work with, going through three crew chiefs in his five season with Yamaha. In the right environment, Viñales can thrive. Aprilia will have to work to create that environment.

The press release appears below:


MAVERICK VIÑALES TO RACE WITH APRILIA IN 2022

ON THE OCCASION OF ITS RETURN TO MOTOGP AS A FACTORY TEAM, APRILIA WELCOMES A GREAT CHAMPION TO JOIN ALEIX ESPARGARÓ: WELCOME MAVERICK!

It is with great pleasure that Aprilia welcomes Maverick Viñales to the Aprilia Racing factory team.

This completes the official team for the 2022 MotoGP season, with Maverick coming alongside Aleix Espargaró astride the RS-GP. The Spanish rider has signed an annual contract with an option for renewal.

The signing of Viñales is another step in the Italian team's growth and development strategy, which comes just in the year of the transition to a factory team. Two events that testify to Aprilia's desire to continue to grow in the top category of world motorcycling.

Born in 1995, Maverick Viñales made his début in World Championship GP Motorcycle Racing in 2011 astride an Aprilia in the 125 category, taking 4 wins and 5 podiums, making him the best rookie of the season and finishing third overall. After another high-level season, he won the Moto3 World Title in 2013 before moving up to Moto2 the next season. Thanks to the potential demonstrated in the intermediate class, he earned a seat in MotoGP from the 2015 season with Suzuki and on Yamaha from 2017.

In the premier class Viñales has taken 9 wins, 13 pole positions and 28 podium finishes, in addition to two overall third places as his best final placement in the rider standings.

MASSIMO RIVOLA - APRILIA RACING CEO

"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. 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. 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."

Source: 

Back to top

Comments

Wonder if Yamaha will put him back on the bike for the rest of the year... Also I'm tipping that Petronas are going to end B up sponsoring the VR46 entry after parting ways with SRT and Rossi's Saudi sponsorship still yet to materialise...

One year at Aprilla-cheers!Gives me some track time.Then off to Suzuki, bye bye Rins.Then teddy out the pram because Mir keeps beating me.Oh well i can always go to Ducati after that i suppose...

...and as for Lorenzo Savadori....hold your head mighty high young man, you've sat at the top of timesheets in some very very exalted company.

Like owning a Ducati, some things in life are better wanting than having. If I was Aleix, I wouldn't be too thrilled. If Mav works out, Aleix will be replaced by a young'in.

Same toys. When someone shows you who they are believe them the first eleven times. This will not go well. Mav is Mav and that's the problem but to fix the problem first one must acknowledge the problem. No signs of that. He's likely looking at this as a reward for the exact behavior that is the problem. If he thinks Yamaha can't or won't make the bike he wants just imagine what he's going to think after he whines about something to Aprilia, that rider-friendly haven from the big bad world. Ooh, boy, this is gonna be epic - I'm keeping the popcorn ready. Best of luck to all involved. 

Aprilia want someone better than Salvadori in that second seat, and now they can scout Moto2 talent next year. And there's still a chance Maverick turns it around; now I personally don't think he will but hey, I'm no stranger to being wrong.

Is what Mav will need to cope when things get rough at Aprilia, and they will. I hope he can do it but he will need to learn from his Yamaha experience. Hopefully he'll have a good hard look at his attitude over the winter break. I know he has done some attitude adjustment work in the past but now another step will be required. It would be good to see his considerable talents move the Aprilia project forward. This could be his last chance.

... a full-time therapist to work with him to develop some tools to keep his head straight during race weekends. A little mental fortitude and Mav could be challanging for a title. Well, maybe not on an Aprilia, but who knows!

Might as well just get this new relationship started and begin racing together asap to make for a strong opener in '22.

Hopefully, Vinales learns that it is normal to create one's own emotions, that creating your own emotions is no one's fault, that blaming oneself or others (even objects) for feeling difficult emotions is a lack of understanding acquired from elders (a repeating pattern), and how to effectively channel those emotions for positive benefits both on the track and off. 

Looking from the outside, Rivola has had a positive effect since coming onboard the Aprilia project. Espargaro has been doing a stupendous job and was oh-so-close to Aprilia's first podium yesterday. I look for continued progress from Aprilia for the rest of this year and into the next.

He's still very young to deal with the considerable pressures that being in the top flight of any sport requires. Its unfortunate that he tipped over the edge and vented his frustrations and blame on Yamaha and I'm confident that he's leaned a crucial lesson here (both as a human being and as a rider) and feel lucky to be given another chance. He is who he is and just a part of his character is what we saw come to a head last week, but his whole character is what also makes him as an individual a world class MotoGP rider and he does deverve another chance. 

For Aprillia, they will need to put in place a sports phschologist/manager who can direct Vinales energy in the right direction. I personally believe that this in the long run is the best for Vinales and MotoGP, he has learned a lesson, Aprillia have a top class rider and as a result there are more opportunities for other young talents at Yamaha in 2022. Add to this that Morbidelli gets his long deserved chance on the factory Yamaha.

Mav is very, very fast. Maybe he's maturing through all this and will reach his high potenial. Anyway, MV26 on an Aprilia sounds like yet another reason to watch the greatest sport in the world.

and MV. He'll certainly perform better than Aprilia's previous #2 riders and maybe better than AE from time to time. Zarco quit KTM and was highly criticized for it. But he wasn't happy and knew he wouldn't be a back marker on almost any other bike. First HRC gave him a couple sample rides then Ducati put him on a satellite bike. Sure enough he hasn't been a back marker ever since. I expect MV to have a similar experience. I don't agree with those that think he is a head case. He's unhappy in the Yamaha garage and there is probably good reason for it. 

Thanks Robcruikshank, an accessible explanation for the common man, a gift indeed! I've worked around the racing business for over three decades, I didn't understand the pressures then and I still don't now. Even at top domestic or roads level, I simply can't imagine how the personality, psyche and instinct can be honed to such levels, amazing.. It's clear it's a very rarified and exalted air that not everyones' lungs are able to process; Maverick has been flattened by his team mate and has turned that ire onto crew chief(s) and machinery, not so convincing when the gap at the top continues to increase for Yamaha, embarrassing, and I hope this is where the humility will emerge from Mav as he's still 'only' potential, the words not quite synchronising with the actions. Coming to Noale he will (hopefully..) understand, or be taught, that the bike has come a long way and needs hard work and dedication to get it to the podium. He is good enough but remember him getting off the Suzuki in tears after his first race because he genuinely expected to win? This pathological drive and ambition is what creates elite competitors (the bit I don't understand!) but that could never have been seen as even remotely realistic, admirable sentiment or not. Let's hope he is taught to see more from halfway up the mountain than the top because I feel he won't be able to trash the Aprilia as easily, and of course they can thank him after year of his input and send him off to who knows where. For the love of the sport, the very best of luck to both parties 😊

Nice to have that all tacked down. General expectations will be lower. Inverse of Yamaha in recent years, the traditionally underwhelming Black bike is on a clear uptick. Maverick just got through "the gutter yrs" at Blue. And Quartararo's arrival taking the bike out of orbit under his nose. 

Importantly, previous to that, Vinales and Yamaha management/his crew chief had an adversarial relationship put in place to put a limit/structure squeeze on the rider when he wiggled and struggled to get the bike to do things "his way." They overtly forced him to stop struggling with the bike, his garage, and brass and ride THIS bike with BASE settings and then consider Blue proffered single updates as indicated. He yielded, largely because they also showed him that they had A) a big bike improvement coming for the next year (not so), B) a third Factory bike going to new Petronas $ Aqua (true), and C) an all new Euro based Test Team with a big deal crew chief and Jorge Lorenzo. 

Vinales overtly settled, played nice, and hung in there. For a while. Way ups, way downs since. Just blew a fork seal. Ok. 

At Aprilia, they will be VERY excited to have him. He will do well! However, the bike gets joined with a cornering dance partner repeatedly by bikes with more outright usable power, which is all of them. So we will see a fierce elbow filled battler of him. He is an underdog now. You may cheer for him next year, watch!

As for A.Espargaro's treatment/value he experiences from Black management, he has WELL earned it. Every bit. The hard way. He and Vinales will push each other, finally. A good thing when you only have two bikes, right Suzuki?

2022 tipping Maverick in Black (Johnny Euro Cash?) ahead of AE41 for the season. Quick adaptation. There is an Aprilia Podium Contest, and this is good. The dude came cheap too! Drinks are cheap at the last chance saloon. But don't expect anything fancy, just strong. 

 

Importantly, previous to that, Vinales and Yamaha management/his crew chief had an adversarial relationship put in place to put a limit/structure squeeze on the rider when he wiggled and struggled to get the bike to do things "his way." They overtly forced him to stop struggling with the bike, his garage, and brass and ride THIS bike with BASE settings and then consider Blue proffered single updates as indicated. He yielded, largely because they also showed him that they had A) a big bike improvement coming for the next year (not so), B) a third Factory bike going to new Petronas $ Aqua (true), and C) an all new Euro based Test Team with a big deal crew chief and Jorge Lorenzo. 

Not sure what you're basing this on sir. I wouldn't call Mav a reliable source of info, honestly. I don't think Yamaha put the smackdown on Mav when he tried to get his way. IIRC he was the lead rider for at least 2 years, and while Yamaha definitely had its problems, when you consider Mav often had no idea how he won or lost I doubt he did much good for the M1. Likewise while factories do need to give riders the best package possible, ultimately what's possible is finite and the rider just has to buckle down and figure out how to ride the thing. Fabio did. Maverick didn't. And somehow that's everyone but Maverick's fault?

Like someone said, new pram, same toys. I hope I'm wrong, but Maverick's whole career literally indicates we'll probably be right back here a year from now, "wondering where it all went wrong".

I have to agree w/ CTK. I picked Mav to finish this season in the top three, based on my belief that he would mature and leave behind his childish behavior from last year.

It may be that both Vinales and Marquez have peaked and are on the decline. Relative to their amazing--and mostly younger--competitors they are rapidly moving backwards. Mav is more Iannone than Zarco. Marc is just really hurt, over a year now, right? IMHO he will never be as daring again, left corner or right corner.

Have to say...If MM is on the decline then PE, AM and TN should just hang up the leathers immediately. I saw only one Honda in the race on Sunday. It makes me a little bit sad because I'd like to see the other riders doing much better.

Exactly. Give Marc a competitive Honda that he doesn't have to ride around and see how he goes. The Honda is a dud right now. Marc still beat Pol mind you, even after dropping it. Pol thought he would finally have his chance to go head to head with Marc on equal machinery - and he did get that chance! But he is thoroughly beaten week in, week out by Marc v0.75 (at best).

The Honda has been developed specifically for MM for the past decade. Now he can't ride it. He was the only one who could ever ride it so that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the others, just that the bike was optimized for the alien who is not now an alien.

Yes, in the dry he was able to ride with a couple of non-aliens. He seems to be at about 60% so it's not like it's a fault or character assassination or anything, just a fact as I see it. 

I've learned that people are what they are.  If someone has a talent, but also something holding them back, I try to build in a structure to counter balance their emotions/performance/whatever it is.  But with Mav, he's proven to be unreliable many times.  For that reason, I would not have him on my team.  And if he thinks little Aprilia will have the assets he's looking for that big Yamaha doesn't have, he's letting himself down.  

Hopefully he jumps on that bike and realizes, "I'm a MotoGP rider.  Even on the worst day, it's better than the best day working in a cubicle."   

 

Mav is definitely a strange character and as suggested earlier in the thread a sports psych could probably do him the world of good. So many sporting stars have benefited from it he'd be mad not to consider it (So I guess he won't consider it then?).

I found it hard to stomach his magical attitude change at Red Bull 1. Always going out of his way to wave at the camera, yet his eyes never smile when his mouth does. Then all hell broke loose come race time and the reality fast made a reappearance.

Popcorn at my place is going to make a reappearance in 2022!

Maverick falls into an early sorting catagory of "externalizer" (as opposed to internalizer). Everything is coming out, it is seen. Not so much introspection, not so much process between inclination and doing. Less needs to be "read into" these sorts. 

I teach internalizers to externalize, and vice-versa. Just humans evolving and growing. The kid is what, 26 yrs old? Totally still able to grow in this way. 

Shout out to Mir on his 4th, not easy. He was careful (no dives, less contact etc) and rode great. 

That dry race that could have finished? Those three guys were THERE. Judging Marc negatively last race, and extrapolating into his future looks...foolish. Quartararo is fantastic! Mir and the Suzuki is on arrival. The Ducati Cup has three riders taking turns grabbing points and a fierce internal contest, good old Spain vs Italy is our next feature.

One thing i noticed. Given all the character assassinations which seem to be spewing forth from people who have never met the guy it's worth noting that people in the paddock, who do know him, say he is a super sweet lovely guy. If you are the kind of person who takes things to heart then it's the 'externalizers' who might seem to be out to get you as they go about projecting their shadows onto us all. Can hurt, the press seems to caused him a lot of stress. However, having never met the guy i prefer to stick with the sweet and lovely description. I would take a bet though...I bet he's got more talent for bikes and racing in the last 0.1% of the tip of his little toe than 100% of the character assassins.

Haven't read much character assassination here in the comment section, just some pretty reasonably expressed opinions. Let's meet!

I have to agree. I have rarely if ever seen a more reasonable comment section. If we have an opinion of a rider we usually back it up.

I've been watching these guys their whole GP careers and have seen enough of the character they have displayed to form an opinion of them. Sport doesn't build character, it reveals it. Mav and others have shown us who they are with their patterns of behavior not just from an isolated incident here and there. Commenting on the patterns they have set does not make one an assassin merely someone who watches closely and who has an opinion that doesn't matter. Cheers! 

Don't take it so personally, i was actually thinking about the press....oh and the insane world of the tweet.

There's lots of it out there. When presented with suitable canvas people tend to project all sorts of things onto it. Often, if not always, all the things they like to believe they are not...yet being human they are to some degree. So sometimes the question is: Whose character is revealed ?

I haven't seen character assassination but I don't go to the sites that are like that. I bet we could have some good discussions, tho. Cheers! 

If you'd met me 11 or more years ago we'd have beered. No alcohol 11 years. It was time. Doesn't mean we couldn't meet at 4:20 tho. ;-))

I never drink at home, very rarely drink in the UK at all. Maybe one beer with a meal. However, away on a job...like a fish. Needless to say my liver seriously appreciates this pandemic.

The character is most likely one of the half dozen or so that are common to the human mental persona and that create drama in our lives. A more accurate question might be, "What character is revealed?"

To the best of my understanding, we are all born empty and naked. The rest is characters and costumes. So it is a weird question in a way...where did all these characters (the drama creators) come from? We start out by creating familiar, repetitve mental patterns and they keep getting passed around from person to person, generation by generation? The characters rise and fall like a waves in the ocean using emotional energy for their expansion. One day a guy is spewing out judgment and blaming his team members, and the next day he is apologizing as the culprit of wrongdoing. What seems to be afflicting Vinales is not strange or uncommon--humanity is rife with the dynamics of these characters. And repressing emotions may have its own downside. Some posit that repressed emotions are actually the source of certain diseases. That might help explain why virtually no major diseases have been cured in over fifty years.

Of course, this is a motorcycle racing forum. Even though elite sporting competition and Vinales's alleged behavoir brought mental health into our awareness, this kind of discussion is off-topic. Plus, those pesky, drama-seeking characters can express a strong aversion to being outed. (I'm speaking of my own subjective experience with the characters of my mind)

It's prudent to question the sincerity behind what is expressed online and off these days. Moods come and go and one may quickly have a change of heart (or mindset). I'm questiong what character I am expressing this through? Sometimes it's best to keep Quiet. Been writing a lot of comments these days and not posting them.

Ah...what the heck. 

I also write and delete far more than I post. Almost just did. 

... once told me "When you are angry at someone write a letter letting them know exactly how you feel... and then throw it in the fire and next day write the letter you should have written if you even need to".  This is good advice.

Sometimes not necessarily to the Motomatters guys and girls, (who I find pretty even-keeled), but to another Forum.

It sort of helps to formulate a reply, and maybe it's somewhat cathartic to put words "on paper". But maybe not wise to press "Send". :D

Cheers all!!

P.S. On Mav, like him for his sheer speed, but he definitely marches to his own drummer, and I don't think he really acknowledges/understands some stuff, especially criticism.

But he is only 26 and we in the Peanut Gallery can't really begin to comprehend the pressures on him.  Best of luck to him at Aprilia.

For the last 12-14 years - not sure when I discovered Kropotkin Thinks - I've made an effort to read every comment posted, and I've enjoyed all of it. We are like-minded people.

A comment like yours Peter is a pleasure to read.

I don't think all the criticism leveled at Vinales here is deserved; though I'm not that close to the sport, I've been following it since the Ago and Nixon (well, Gary and Dick) and Rayburn days. Sure, he lacks the overall balance of talents as a rider, teammate, developer, and character that the aliens have had, but his career results have been a lot better than AE, for example, and he hasn't been guilty of many on-track shenanigans like MM or AI (or Gerloff). I think he'll do well at Aprilia, and if not it will be because of the team and bike.