Signing up with Aprilia Racing for the 2021 MotoGP season is Maverick Vinales, currently riding for Yamaha Factory. After being withdrawn by the factory team from last weekend’s MotoGP race in Austria for “irregular operation” of his race motorcycle, Vinales issued a video apology.

Just before the MotoGP summer break in June, Yamaha announced Vinales would be leaving the team, breaking a two-year contract early at his request. A dismal Styrian Grand Prix after the return from the break saw Vinales stalling on the grid, then forced to start from pit lane before finishing last.

Vinales debuted in the MotoGP class in 2015 with Suzuki in 2015, before moving to Yamaha Factory in 2017 where he teamed up with Valentino Rossi. In moving to Aprilia, Vinales replaces Lorenzo Salvadori and shares the pit with Aleix Espargaro.

With Vinales move to Aprilia, a seat is currently left empty in the Yamaha Factory team, widely tipped to be reserved for Franco Morbidelli. Yamaha currently has Fabio Quartararo in the roster while satellite team Petronas Sepang Racing Team recently lost their sponsorship from Malaysian national oil company Petronas and well as having second rider Rossi announce his retirement.