The nine-time MotoGP race winner has a contract with Yamaha that runs until the end of the 2022 season, but the relationship between Vinales and Yamaha has soured in recent weeks.
The Dutch Grand Prix poleman endured his worst weekend as a MotoGP rider last time out in Germany, where he qualified 21st and finished last while teammate Fabio Quartararo was third on the podium.
This followed a slump for Vinales since his emphatic win at the Qatar GP in March, with the Yamaha rider not coming close to the podium in subsequent races.
After his Germany low, Vinales slammed Yamaha for what he saw as the brand’s disrespectful approach to his ailments.
The relationship between Yamaha and Vinales wasn’t exactly improved by the team’s decision to replace crew chief Esteban Garcia for ex-Valentino Rossi ally Silvano Galbusera from the Catalan GP.
Garcia was brought in from Vinales in 2019 after his relationship with Ramon Forcada was strained, with Garcia being a longtime friend and crew boss to Vinales in his 2013 Moto3 title-winning season.
It seems that Vinales sees no further prospects with his time at Yamaha and is looking to terminate his contract at the end of the year.
Maverick Vinales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Autosport understand both Vinales and Yamaha are looking for an amicable conclusion to their partnership, but nothing has been finalized yet.
Should Vinales leave Yamaha, it looks like he will head into second place at Aprilia next season in a shock move, although Autosport know nothing has been signed as of Sunday.
The Pole from Vinales at Assen is said to have – according to the rider – ridden the same bike he rode at the German GP, with the Spaniard claiming he made no changes to it during the Dutch TT weekend.
It remains to be seen how a potential winning performance at Assen on Sunday – where Vinales has looked so strong since the Qatar GP – could change Vinales’ mind given the Spaniard’s unpredictable character.
Should he leave Yamaha, the Japanese brand will need a replacement for 2022.
The logical option would be to promote 2020 Championship runner-up Franco Morbidelli to the factory squad, although again this would likely mean Petronas SRT will need to find two new drivers, with Valentino Rossi expected to retire at the end of the year.