MotoGP: Viñales kicks off silly season with two-year Yamaha extension

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Maverick Viñales has delivered the first deal of the 2018 MotoGP silly season by announcing a two-year contract extension with the Movistar Yamaha team at the squad’s launch event in Madrid this morning.

Preparing to start his second season with the team this weekend at the first official test in Sepang, the surprise news confirms his presence at the factory team until at least the end of the 2020 championship.

However, while the move helps to secure the future for the Japanese manufacturer, it’s likely to ignite speculation about the future of teammate Valentino Rossi. Normal policy at Yamaha is to treat both riders equally and present them with similar contracts at the same time – meaning that the nine-time world champion is also likely to have an offer on the table as he continues to assess his future after 22 seasons in Grand Prix racing.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer