Maverick Vinales found it hard to leave Suzuki for Yamaha in MotoGP

Maverick Vinales says the progress Suzuki has made in MotoGP made it difficult to decide to leave for Yamaha

Maverick Vinales found it hard to leave Suzuki for Yamaha in MotoGP

Last season's rookie of the year, Vinales was confirmed as Yamaha's replacement for the Ducati-bound Jorge Lorenzo on Thursday morning, on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.

While he has decided to leave to partner Valentino Rossi in 2017 and '18, Vinales said Suzuki's ever-improving form since returning to MotoGP last season was a major consideration.

When asked by Autosport about how he finally reached his decision, Vinales said: "Honestly, after Le Mans it was quite clear the decision in my head.

"I also respect a lot Suzuki and I wanted to tell them quite fast.

"It's been so difficult to leave next year, from Suzuki, because they have always been so great for me and always treating me really good, treating me like an incredible rider.

"It's important that I saw this respect."

Vinales said the move to Yamaha is the right one for this stage of his career, as the 21-year-old looks to add to his 2013 Moto3 title.

"We are quite happy, I need to grow up and the path that I will do will be to make one jump in my career, so I'm happy and really motivated," he said.

"I was considering the progress that Suzuki did in only one year, but finally I decided this because I need to grow.

"The Yamaha team can give me the things that I need to make this step on my career."

Immediately after Vinales' move to Yamaha was confirmed, Suzuki announced it had signed Ducati refugee Andrea Iannone as his replacement.

Aleix Espargaro has signalled his desire to stay with Suzuki, but Moto2 championship leader Alex Rins has entered the picture, while the Japanese manufacturer also has an option on reigning Moto2 champion Johann Zarco.

"If they keep Aleix it will be a really strong team, but they need to look to the future and also Rins is a strong rider," Vinales said.

"They have to think a lot about what they need, experience or a new talent."

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