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Maverick Vinales, Yamaha part ways with immediate effect

Having agreed to part ways at the end of the 2021 MotoGP season, the separation between Maverick Vinales and Monster Energy Yamaha will now take place with immediate effect. Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Spanish MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales and Yamaha have parted ways with immediate effect, the team said on Friday, less than a week after he was withdrawn from the Austrian GP for allegedly trying to destroy his bike's engine at the previous race.

The nine-times MotoGP race winner had fallen out with Yamaha and had been due to leave at the end of the season after terminating his contract a year early.

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But Japanese manufacturer Yamaha said the team and Vinales had mutually agreed to advance the separation.

"Following recent events at the Styrian GP and after deep consideration by both parties, the mutual decision was reached to separate with immediate effect," Yamaha said in a statement.

Vinales apologised to Yamaha for the incident at the Styrian GP, saying it was a sad situation triggered by frustration.

Aprilia said on Monday Vinales will race for the Italian outfit next season. The Spaniard has signed a one-year deal with an option to renew and will partner compatriot Aleix Espargaro at Aprilia.

Vinales, who started out in 125cc with Aprilia, won the Moto3 championship in 2013 with KTM. He is seventh overall in the standings, 86 points behind his French team mate and world championship leader Fabio Quartararo.