Vinales’ MotoGP future “at a standstill” following Yamaha exit

Maverick Vinales says his 2022 MotoGP future is currently “at a standstill” following his shock decision to quit Yamaha at the end of the current season. 

As his relationship with Yamaha deteriorated over a tough 2021 season, the Japanese marque announced on June 28 that Vinales – upon his request – had terminated his two-year contract a season early and will leave the squad he has raced with since 2017 at the end of 2021.

As speculation over the Assen weekend began to mount that Vinales would take up a seat at Aprilia, no announcement has been forthcoming from the Italian marque – though it has expressed interest.

Speaking to select media on Tuesday at a Barcelona track day featuring a number of MotoGP riders, Vinales says there has been no movement on his 2022 future.

“It is at a standstill,” Vinales said when asked about his 2022 situation.

“Now I want to enjoy my holidays because the first half of the season has been quite hard and I want to enjoy [with] my family.

“I have nothing with anyone. I want to take it easy and we’ll see what happens in 2022.”

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The 2021 Aprilia is the best bike the marque has built in the modern MotoGP era, with Aleix Espargaro a regular top six finisher so far this season and edging closer to the podium.

When it was put to him that the Aprilia option was surprising given it’s not on the same race-winning level as the Yamaha, Vinales added: “With Aleix they are improving a lot and it is clear he is riding well. When I’ve been following him, I could not draw conclusions.”

Vinales has said his primary reason for quitting Yamaha is because he has been unable to give his maximum on the bike.

This remains his key focus for whatever his future move would be and hasn’t ruled out taking a sabbatical if he can’t find that in 2022.

"Well, it's clear that it wouldn't be the best thing to do, because you have to compete,” he said.

“The most important thing is to compete, but if I'm not at ease and I don't enjoy myself... what frustrates me the most is that I can't give my 100%, and if I can't give it I prefer to stay at home and enjoy life.

“In the end, everything goes by very quickly and in this world we live in, 10 years fly by and you don't enjoy them.

“Right now, as we were working, I didn't enjoy anything on the circuits.

“In this second part of the season I want to change that dynamic, enjoy and give the maximum.

“For me nothing changes, I will give everything I have and if they make me try things, I will try them and I will give them the right information, I will be a professional as I should be.”

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