Maverick Vinales will be formally confirmed as a Yamaha MotoGP rider ahead of the Italian MotoGP at Mugello, ending weeks of speculation over his future.
The highly-rated Spaniard, currently competing with Suzuki, has been courted by the title defending manufacturer ever since Jorge Lorenzo announced he would be departing for Ducati for the 2017 season.
However, despite the temptation of joining a seasoned race win contender alongside Valentino Rossi, it is known Vinales was conflicted by the option of staying at Suzuki for the opportunity to lead it to potential success following a strong start to the 2016 season.
However, Vinales has now penned an agreement to join Yamaha on a two-year contract, with sources revealing to Crash.net
that he will be announced shortly after Suzuki confirms his departure tomorrow morning. Ducati rider Andrea Iannone will take his seat at Suzuki.
A Moto3 champion little more than two years ago, Vinales' rise to a Yamaha factory seat has been swift, taking in just a season at Moto2 level – where he finished third overall in 2014 - and an eye-catching rookie MotoGP campaign with the returning Suzuki team in 2015.
Even so, by joining Yamaha, Vinales – who has just a single MotoGP podium to his name - has some impressive shoes to fill in replacing countryman Lorenzo, who has so far won three MotoGP world titles with the manufacturer and is the current defending champion.