Maverick Viñales will move to Aprilia for the 2022 MotoGP season the team has confirmed to partner compatriot Aleix Espargaró.
The nine-time premier class winner has courted controversy in 2021 as the relationship between him and current team Yamaha deteriorated to the low point at the Styrian GP over a week ago.
Yamaha claimed that its rider had attempted to ‘blow up’ his engine during the Styrian race, and videos emerged of the Spaniard over-revving his bike on several occasions. Viñales apologized for the incident but it remains to be seen whether he will ride for Yamaha again in 2021.
Following the Dutch TT in Assen back in June, rumors suggested that Viñales was set to sign for Aprilia despite his contract with Yamaha running until the end of 2022.
Both parties agreed to end the relationship a year early, opening the door to Aprilia to sign Viñales for next season.
“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,” Aprilia Racing CEO Massimo Rivola said.
“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 honored 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.”
Aprilia says Viñales’s contract is an annual agreement with an option for renewal.