This is news that’ll come as no surprise to anyone that’s been following the ‘Maverick Viñales show’ in 2021. The rumours have been circulating for long enough, and now they’ve been confirmed; the former 125cc and Moto3 World Champ will be racing for Aprilia in 2022. He’ll be joining his countryman Aleix Espargaro in what will be the ‘factory’ Aprilia team (rather than an independent team), and hoping, no doubt, to take their racing project to the next level.
The announcement comes after Viñales was made to sit out of the Austrian GP as punishment for ‘unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle’. Aprilia Racing’s CEO, Massimo Rivola, will be hoping young Maverick’s learnt to behave himself by 2022.
He had this to say about his latest signing…
“We are extremely happy to announce that we have signed Maverick Viñales. He is 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. And this is 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.”
Maverick Viñales is a rider that’s proven he can win races. And that is exactly the kind of rider Aprilia need, to take themselves to the next level in MotoGP. They need to start winning races.
Like him or not, Aleix Espargaro has showed us that the Aprilia is capable of running near the front of a MotoGP race. I can’t actually remember him finishing near the front, but he quite often seems to have the pace during the opening laps.
Perhaps Maverick Viñales will have the pace at the start, and the middle and the end of a MotoGP race. Will he be the golden ticket to Aprilia’s success? Or maybe it will be the Aprilia that’s the answer to all of MV12’s prayers.
I don’t know, but we’ll soon see. What I do know is that this signing has the potential to be the start of something incredible for Aprilia. But it could also be the beginning of the end of Maverick Vinales’ MotoGP career. Place your bets…