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Viñales Confirmed at Yamaha, Iannone Confirmed with Suzuki for 2017 & 2018

The next two pieces of the MotoGP puzzle for the coming seasons have fallen into place. This morning, Yamaha announced that Maverick Viñales would be joining them for two years from Suzuki, and Suzuki announced that Andrea Iannone would be taking the place of Viñales. Both riders signed two year deals with their respective factories.

With the earlier announcements of Andrea Dovizioso at Ducati and Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda, the confirmed 2017 line up looks like this so far:

Guest Blog: Mat Oxley - MotoGP’s dark side: the twits and the trolls

Valentino Rossi talks about rider bullying on social media: “it’s very bad”

Technology is usually amoral – it can be used for good or for ill. Nuclear fission can be used to power the world, or to destroy it. The internet can be used to spread love, or hate.

In the world of MotoGP, social media is being used for too much of the latter. I regularly receive tweets, also addressed to the two riders in question, wishing them dead or in wheelchairs. You don’t need me to name the riders.

The Choice is Made: Ducati to Keep Andrea Dovizioso for Two More Seasons

MotoGP's rider market has moved into overdrive this week. Over the weekend, reports came in from the Spanish media that Maverick Viñales had signed with Yamaha, with that deal to be announced at Mugello on Thursday. Confirmation that Viñales will be leaving Suzuki came from our friends over at Asphalt & Rubber on Monday. Later that day, Repsol Honda announced they had extended Dani Pedrosa's contract for a further two years, leaving another of the top seats filled.

The deluge of announcements continued today, with Ducati announcing that they have chosen one of the two Andreas to remain in Ducati and partner Jorge Lorenzo for the next two seasons. Unsurprisingly, Ducati have gone with Dovizioso to stay in the team, selecting the Italian's long experience of developing the bike over Iannone's raw, and sometimes uncontrolled, talent.

Silly Season Updates: Pedrosa to Honda, Viñales to Yamaha, and Who Else?

After the drama and speculation at Le Mans, it will be Maverick Viñales who will join Valentino Rossi in the Movistar Yamaha team in 2017. The reports pegging Dani Pedrosa for the seat alongside Rossi turn out to have been wrong, despite coming from highly credible sources. On Friday, Spanish magazine website Solomoto reported that Viñales flew to Milan to sign the contract at Yamaha Motor Racing headquarters in Gerno di Lesmo, a stone's throw from the Monza circuit.

Solomoto's report was followed by a deluge of other Spanish news sites reporting the same facts, though citing different sources. This makes it more likely that the news really is true this time, and that Viñales has indeed signed with Yamaha. The deal will see Viñales sign for two years alongside Rossi, with the announcement to be made on Thursday at Mugello.

The fact that Viñales is to be in Thursday's pre-event press conference at Mugello could have tipped us off to the news, but the Suzuki rider's podium at Le Mans – his first in MotoGP, and the first for a Suzuki since 2009 – was a legitimate reason to have Viñales in the room. Dorna's rule of thumb for putting together the press conference line up is to have the championship leader, the winner of the previous race, a rider relevant to the event (e.g. a local rider, or someone with ties to the event through their team, etc.), and other riders who are in the news for one reason or another. Getting a first podium in MotoGP is a good reason to be invited onto the press conference panel. Then again, so is signing a factory contract.

Honda Press Release: Dani Pedrosa Re-signs With Repsol Honda For Two More Seasons

The Repsol Honda team today issued the following press release announcing that Dani Pedrosa is to stay with the team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons:


Honda Racing Corporation renew with Dani Pedrosa until end of 2018

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce the renewal of its contract with Dani Pedrosa for an additional two years. Both parties are pleased to reach the agreement ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, which will be the 30-year-old Spanish rider’s 250th in the World Championship.

Honda Press Release: Dani Pedrosa Re-signs With Repsol Honda For Two More Seasons

The Repsol Honda team today issued the following press release announcing that Dani Pedrosa is to stay with the team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons:


Honda Racing Corporation renew with Dani Pedrosa until end of 2018

Honda Racing Corporation is pleased to announce the renewal of its contract with Dani Pedrosa for an additional two years. Both parties are pleased to reach the agreement ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, which will be the 30-year-old Spanish rider’s 250th in the World Championship.

Paddock Pass Podcast Episode 25 - Who Gets the Yamaha Ride, and Reviewing Le Mans

The latest episode of the Paddock Pass Podcast is out, and it should be no surprise that the second seat at Yamaha is the main topic of conversation. Neil Morrison, Jensen Beeler of Asphalt & Rubber, and David Emmett discuss the stories that emerged around the second Yamaha seat in some depth.

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