Iannone and Vinales confirm 2017 plans

Paul Taylor
By Paul Taylor
platinum_paul ex-BikeSocial Production Editor turned freelancer. Worked in bike industry for 15 years, gets fatter and slower every year. Unhealthy obsession with Honda C90s, top boxes and small bikes.

Iannone leads Vinales

The MotoGP landscape for 2017 and 2018 became clearer this morning as Maverick Vinales and Andrea Iannone both signed factory deals that will see them race for Yamaha and Suzuki respectively for the next two seasons.

Vinales, Moto3 world champion as recently as 2013, was the most coveted young rider on the market following two good seasons on the developing Suzuki GSX-RR. He takes the most coveted ride in the paddock, filling the seat vacated by world champion Jorge Lorenzo on the factory YZR-M1. Iannone, ousted by Lorenzo at Ducati, completes the merry-go-round, by replacing Vinales at Suzuki.

Today’s announcements mean that factory seats at Ducati and Yamaha are now taken, with Vinales joining Valentino Rossi at the factory Yamaha team and Andrea Dovizioso lining up with Lorenzo at Ducati.

Dani Pedrosa’s recent commitment to Honda for two more years, where he will almost certainly be joined by Marc Marquez, means that the only established front-running factory ride to be established is the second seat alongside Iannone at Suzuki. Moto2 man Alex Rins is much fancied to take that ride but, with the conservative nature of MotoGP team bosses, it would be no surprise to see Aleix Espargaro remain with the factory for a third year.

With the top seats now all but filled, expect the second tier factory rides to shake themselves out in the next few weeks. MotoGP new boys KTM have still to announce who will join Bradley Smith on their RC16 racer, while Aprilia are expected to have Brit Sam Lowes on one of their bikes.

Latest Racing News
  • THUMB_2019_Isle_of_Man_TT_Lightweight_TT_025
    Lightweight Rules Shakeup | Isle of Man TT
  • 2021 Bennetts British Superbikes Calendar Announced_thumb
    British Superbike Calendar 2021
  • Thanks to a new TV deal with Eurosport, you’ll be able to catch all the BSB coverage from the comfort of your own home. Check out our detailed TV guide here
    British Superbikes TV Coverage 2020 | Where & how to watch!
  • Bennetts Rewards members ask the questions to championship challengers Brookes, Iddon, G.Irwin, O’Halloran and Taz Mackenzie
    VIDEO Interview | 2020 BSB Final Five