GP News: Yamaha Interested in Young Guns, Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales in Sight

Lorenzo, Jarvis, Rossi 1 photo
Yamaha admits having Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales on the short list of riders that must be watched. Is the house of Iwata preparing to make radical changes in their premier class teams? Maybe, but for now, it's way too early to make a call.
Even though the 2016 MotoGP season has not begun yet, and we're even several weeks away from the first official tests, this doesn't mean that the team managers are now working. The end of 2016 brings the end of many contracts the factory teams have with their riders, and certain things might change.

However, these changes are of the utmost importance, as they can make a huge difference in the outcome of a championship, so they must be analyzed and prepared a long time ahead. Yamaha officials are not saying anything about Valentino Rossi and the 2015 World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, but prefer to talk about the young guns on their watch list.

Alex Rins and Maverick Vinales are the ones Yamaha is interested in, and Iwata doesn't hide their interest

One of Mr. Jarvis' tasks is to keep an eye on the younger riders, trying to spot the potential new Yamaha stars. He says that two pilots impressed him, Alex Rins, who has signed a two-year deal in Moto2, and Suzuki Ecstar's Maverick Vinales, for whom 2015 was the rookie season.

Vinales, who turned 21 a couple of days ago, stepped up to the esteemed position of factory rider for Suzuki, being Aleix Espargaro's teammate, and is a Moto3 World Champion. He finished 2015 in the 12th position with 97 points, and showed a lot of potential.

Some say that Suzuki is not offering yet all the grunt to their riders, who could do better should they use improved bikes. Jarvis says that, as far as he heard, Vinales has a two-year contract with Suzuki, with an option for 2017.

No other predictions are mentioned, so it's hard to tell whether Lin Jarvis thinks of Maverick as a potential successor in the factory team or the satellite one, Tech3. Still, with two seasons of MotoGP experience, Vinales may look like an even better choice for more than Yamaha, especially if his 2016 performance also improves.

"With no Moto3 or Moto2 teams, we cannot create our talents"

It's unclear whether Mr. Jarvis' tone is a slightly regretful one or not when he speaks about Moto3 and Moto2. Yamaha only fields teams in the premier class, with two factory riders and two satellite ones, so whenever they choose a new one for either outfit, they are also gambling a bit.

Still, Jarvis says that Rins made a good choice signing a two-year contract in Moto2. Racing in the intermediate class will allow him to hone his skills. "In 2015 he made a few mistakes, but has proven to be very fast, so he is definitely on our list," Jarvis adds.

In case Yamaha wants to retain Rossi and Lorenzo, their contracts should be officially extended before the summer break, if not much earlier. Bets, anyone?
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