Why the Vinales/Yamaha MotoGP divorce satisfies both parties
On Monday Yamaha announced it will part ways with Maverick Vinales at the end of the 2021 season - a move requested by the rider. As the already strained relationship between both parties in MotoGP hit rock bottom in recent weeks, this divorce - as ORIOL PUIGDEMONT writes - is good for both Yamaha and Vinales for a number of reasons
The tension between Maverick Vinales and Yamaha has been growing, to the point that both the rider and the brand concluded that the best way to resolve the conflict was to end their relationship a year before his contract was due to expire in 2022.
Although the outcome was precipitated this past weekend at Assen, the tension between the two sides had been dragging on for some time. Indeed, the previous Sunday, after finishing last in the German Grand Prix, Vinales' frontal attack on Yamaha had caused the Japanese manufacturer's officials to doubt whether their rider would even ride in the Dutch TT. "After Sachsenring, the truth is that I had little desire to come here," Vinales said at Assen.
Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007
After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez
While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character
OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title
OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness
Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia
Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out
Rossi: Vinales’ Yamaha MotoGP exit won’t influence 2022 decision
Marquez “impressed” by his charge from 20th in Assen MotoGP