UPDATE: Late on Saturday, rumours broke in Spain linking Maverick Vinales with a sensational switch from Yamaha to Aprilia for MotoGP 2022. There has been no direct denial of the rumours to Crash.net.

The split with Yamaha is said to have been decided on Friday evening, when Vinales' zoom media debrief was cancelled due to a 'technical meeting'.

If the Vinales-Aprilia move happens a rider tipped to join Yamaha is Raul Fernandez, providing the factory is willing to buy him out of his current KTM contract.

The estimated 500,000 euro fee to release Fernandez from the KTM option was thought to have sunk earlier Yamaha and Aprilia talks, but if Vinales - who has qualified on pole position at Assen - is now leaving the situation changes completely.

Fernandez could then either become a direct replacement for Vinales at the official team or placed at Petronas should Franco Morbidelli move alongside Fabio Quartararo. However, Morbidelli has a Petronas contract for 2022...

Will Moto2 rookie sensation Raul Fernandez be a MotoGP rider in 2022?

Reports have been see-sawing in both directions. Some believe the Spaniard is now certain to form an all-new Tech3 KTM MotoGP line-up alongside current Ajo team-mate Remy Gardner. Others suggest Fernandez will wait and spend one more season in Moto2.

It was Moto2 that the Spaniard seemed to lean publicly towards when quizzed on his future at Assen on Saturday. But that was with the notable caveat "at the moment" and while confirming that further talks will be held during the summer break, which is known to be when the identity of the Tech3 rider will be decided.

"Everybody asks this [going to MotoGP] question but at the end, KTM say that they bring me the opportunity to stay another season in Moto2 and I'm really happy for this. Also in the summer break I will speak with them, but at the moment I know that I will stay in Moto2 another season," Fernandez said.

KTM will probably take the view that keeping such a promising young rider (five podiums, including two wins, from eight Moto2 races) happy inside the orange 'family' - rather than being tempted to look elsewhere, as happened when they lost Jorge Martin to Ducati - is top priority at this stage.

In other words, Fernandez could be given free rein by KTM to pick what he wants to do in 2022.

If it is Tech3 and MotoGP that means both of the team's current line-up, Iker Lecuona and Danilo Petrucci will be leaving.

Lecuona, who qualified a strong 13th at Assen, said he didn’t want to be distracted by contract talk during a race weekend.

"No [I haven't heard any more from KTM], I mean if anybody needs to speak it's with my manager. For now, my manager is normal, doesn't tell me nothing, because we are in a race weekend.

"So I think it's not important to know now the decision, or to know how is the balance [for the future]. The important thing now is to put the focus on the bike, the riding style, continue to improve my performance.

"I know the decision is in the summer break, we will see. I need to wait and see what happens."

Team-mate Petrucci qualified 18th at Assen after being stripped of his best lap due to exceeding track limits (the lost time would have put him 13th instead of Lecuona).

"I think both Remy and Raul deserve a MotoGP bike. Unfortunately [for me] they are riding for KTM in Moto2," Petrucci said at Assen.

Should the double Ducati race winner be forced out of KTM after just one season, might Aprilia be a possibility for 2022?

Petrucci has certainly been a target for Aprilia in the past, but the Italian company already has a sizeable list of riders on its radar.

Andrea Dovizioso, currently testing for the factory, is a well-known target, with current rookie Lorenzo Savadori and some Moto2 riders also in the running to join Aleix Espargaro on the much-improved RS-GP.