Big Changes Confirmed for Team Yamaha MotoGP Through 2022
The ENEOS-sponsored Team Yamaha MotoGP made a number of important announcements within the past week, concerning the 2020 season, next year and into the 2022 campaign.
To begin with, the team is pleased to announce that Maverick Viñales has been confirmed as a factory rider until 2022. The ENEOS-sponsored Spaniard has shown great riding skill, motivation and consistency during his past three seasons riding with the team in the MotoGP World Championship, and they expect even better things to come in 2020.
The partnership has already been successful for Team Yamaha MotoGP and Viñales: he took third place overall in the 2017 standings, fourth in 2018 and another third place last year. Additional Yamaha highlights include six wins and 19 podiums, including his Yamaha debut and Yamaha’s 500th GP win at the French GP in Le Mans (both in 2017), as well as nine poles out of 55 Grand Prix weekends while racing the YZR-M1.
Viñales and Team Yamaha MotoGP begin testing on February 6, 2020 in Sepang, Malaysia to kick off their 2020 campaign to clinch the premier class title.
As for Valentino Rossi, after 15 years competing with Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP, the Grand Prix legend and ENEOS-sponsored rider will complete his time with the team at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
Following discussions during the off-season, Rossi and Yamaha have mutually agreed to let the Italian decide mid-year as to whether he’ll continue as an active rider into the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season or not. Should he decide to move forward, Yamaha will provide him with a factory-spec YZR-M1 bike along with full engineering support. He will essentially compete in a satellite team with full factory spec bikes.
For now, Rossi remains steadfast for 2020 – his 25th MotoGP World Championship, 21st season in the premier class and his 15th year with Yamaha, backed by Yamaha to ensure a successful campaign.
Equally exciting, the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team will see the addition of rider Fabio Quartararo to the 2021-2022 lineup. The French rider had a stellar debut in the Yamaha satellite team, scoring seven podiums in 2019. His fifth place in the overall MotoGP standings earned him Best Independent Team Rider and Rookie of the Year titles, encouraging Yamaha to bring him into the factory team next year.
One more big announcement for 2020: five-time World Champion and former Yamaha rider Jorge Lorenzo will be joining the Yamaha Factory Racing Test Team. Making his debut in 2008 with Yamaha, he spent nine years with the Factory MotoGP team, winning all three of his premier class titles on the YZR-M1 in 2010, 2012 and 2015. Starting this year, he will begin shakedown testing on the YZR-M1 once again.