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19 days ago
By Autosport.com

Viñales admits he considered a switch to Ducati for 2021

Top Gun signed a two-year extension with the factory Yamaha squad but "had in mind" a move to the Bologna factory

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP's Maverick Viñales admits he seriously considered a sensational switch to the factory Ducati Team for 2021 after saying he didn't feel he had the "trust" of Yamaha throughout parts of 2019. In the end, Top Gun will remain inside the factory Yamaha squad for another two years after signing an extension in early 2020, meaning he will partner Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) in an exciting line-up.

However, we could have seen the 25-year-old in red instead of blue from next season onwards if it wasn't for the Iwata factory showing the Spaniard "very good trust" and proving to him that "100% they would keep" him. In an exclusive interview with Autosport.com, he says he considered the switch because he feels the Desmosedici would work with his riding style and he has a "very good relationship with the Ducati management."

"I am very happy with the chance to stay for another two years with Yamaha and to try and fight for the World Championship," said the multiple premier class race winner. "Because, in the end, this is the most important thing. "In the end, I made a decision thinking also about this year, because I have an objective: to not have races like last year or 2018, and I don't know if I could have raced at the same level if I knew I was leaving Yamaha [at the end of the season]. "This created a very good trust with Yamaha, which is what I missed last year - to have their trust and know 100% they would keep me.

New level, new tech, new Viñales!

On the prospect of moving to the Bologna-based factory at the end of 2020, Viñales says it was certainly a consideration: "It was something that I had in mind [going to Ducati], because I have a very good relationship with the Ducati management. I thought about it also because they have a motorbike quite well suited to my riding style. I've often done a few laps behind the Ducati, both in races, and during practice, and I think it's a fairly complete bike. But, above all, it has this ability to brake very late, but still be able to stop to make the corner, which is what Yamaha has been missing a little bit in recent years."

Despite it being a potential option for Viñales, he decided to remain with the Monster Energy Yamaha squad and will have an exciting new teammate from next season onwards in the form of Fabio Quartararo. He'll once again go head-to-head with Repsol Honda and Marc Marquez after the reigning MotoGP™ World Champion signed an unprecedented four year deal with HRC. He'll also face stiff competition from Team Ecstar Suzuki's Alex Rins who signed a two-year extension of his own over the weekend. However, it remains to be seen who will line-up on the 2021 grid for Ducati.

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