Spanish rider Maverick Vinales announced a contract extension with Yamaha for two more MotoGP seasons until 2022.

Vinales already had a contract in place until the 2020 MotoGP season with Yamaha and even before the start of the new year of racing, the Spaniard has re-signed with the Japanese manufacturer for two more seasons, until 2022.

While Vinales has a set future, it will be interesting to see as to who becomes his teammate for 2021 and beyond it. Valentino Rossi will be alongside him in 2020 but Petronas Yamaha SRT’s Fabio Quartararo is already tipped to succeed the Italian in the senior outfit.

The Frenchman surprised everyone with his performances in 2019, where he ended up as the best rookie. He was more consistent than the two factory riders, in fact. “I’m extremely happy because I feel like I get to keep ‘my own team’,” said Vinales.

“This will be the second year with my current crew, and after this I have two more years to look forward to. I’m so excited! I think that if we keep working really hard we are heading the right way.

“For me, it was very important to make this announcement before the season started, because I’m highly motivated and want to be able to fully concentrate on the 2020 season. I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the future.

“There were no reasons not to stay with Yamaha, because they feel like family. Yamaha is giving me a lot of support and, as I said, I have ‘my own team’, which is something I really need. We need to keep working and be very strong. Our main objective is, as always, to be World Champion and try to bring Yamaha the number one honour again. I will try my best.

“For sure, I will give everything I have to make our team proud too. I would like to say ‘Thank you’ to Yamaha for their faith in me. They are giving me a lot of confidence, and I really have trust in our partnership. I think we will both be growing very fast and we will keep pushing,” summed up, Vinales.

At the same time, Yamaha team boss, Lin Jarvis, added: “We brought Maverick Vinales into the Factory team in 2017, knowing he is a special talent. He is highly motivated and dedicates himself to being physically strong and is always ready to give his maximum and extract the best from his YZR-M1.

“In his first three seasons with us, he has given Yamaha 6 wins, 19 podiums, and 100% of his commitment. Now, as the YZR-M1 is improving race by race, we foresee a very bright future for Vinales at Yamaha.

“Maverick’s decision to sign with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for two further years so early shows the strength of our mutual appreciation and underlines the shared conviction that together we can challenge for the MotoGP World Championship Title.”

Here’s the 2020 Ducati bike