Aprilia have confirmed that Maverick Viñales will race for the team in 2022 in MotoGP. The Spaniard will race alongside his countryman Aleix Espargaro and, with that, the possibility of seeing the return of Andrea Dovizioso in the colors of the Noale factory is buried.
Viñales, in recent days, has had some friction with the Yamaha team, which suspended him from the Austrian GP, last Sunday. He’s also been making pretty tough statements about the bike and the team. He later released an apology. The relationship between the three tuning fork mark and the Spanish pilot was already strained, and culminated in the early termination of the contract between the two parties.
With Viñales, Aprilia takes another important step at the moment that it will be transformed into the official factory team, and hopes that with the two drivers it will be able to further develop the project, which is already proving to be very competitive.
Today, the team’s second rider is Lorenzo Savadori, and although they have not disclosed his fate, they say “he will remain an integral part of the Aprilia Racing family”, likely as a test rider.
Born in 1995, Viñales made his debut in World Championship in 2011 astride an Aprilia in the 125cc category, taking four wins and five podiums, seeing him secure the Rookie of the Year and third overall.
After another high-level season, he won the Moto3 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 for the 2015 season with Suzuki and then with Yamaha in 2017.
In the premier class, Viñales has taken nine wins, 13 pole positions and 28 podium finishes so far, 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.”
MotoGP returns on August 29th with the British GP at the Silverstone Circuit.