Confirmed: Viñales to leave Suzuki for 2017

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It has been confirmed that Maverick Viñales will leave the Suzuki MotoGP team for the 2017 season, in a press release issued this morning by the Japanese manufacturer.

The news comes after the Suzuki rider spent weeks agonising over the decision, and will open the way for a move to join Valentino Rossi at the Movistar Yamaha team for the next two seasons – despite admitting at Le Mans only a week ago that he still hadn’t decided.

“I’m all the time thinking and thinking about it, and I’m lucky I go into another world when I go to my bike! The important thing is the result – I came here to win. Suzuki has made incredible steps though, and that makes me think a lot. One time I think here, the next there.”

The move may threw a lifeline to Cal Crutchlow, however, opening up the option of a factory seat for him at Suzuki. However, he may face stiff opposition from Andrea Iannone, who became a free agent earlier this week after Ducati confirmed that they would be retaining his teammate Andrea Dovizioso to partner Jorge Lorenzo.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer