Maverick Vinales hopes Valentino Rossi signs new Yamaha MotoGP deal – MotoGP


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Maverick Vinales says he hopes Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Valentino Rossi decides to stick with the team beyond the end of the 2018 season.

Rossi’s current contract expires at the end of the upcoming campaign, and the Italian has said he is in “no rush” to finalise a deal to stay on at Yamaha.

Vinales on the other hand revealed a new two-year deal during this week’s Yamaha launch, meaning he will remain with the Japanese marque until the end of 2020.

“I hope he renews,” Vinales said of Rossi. “Valentino is a very important figure in our team, he makes you give 5% more.

“You always want to finish ahead of your team-mate. Being ahead of Valentino means fighting to win every race. That motivates me a lot and it’s one of the best things.

“Finishing [2017] as the leading Yamaha [in the standings] was very nice since we couldn’t fight for the title. But that doesn’t mean anything.

“It’s a new year, everything is starting from zero and we have to keep fighting and trying to keep a consistent level from the first to the last race.

“You can’t push in two races and then relax. You have to push until the end.”

Vinales was reported to have had offers from Suzuki and KTM on the table when he made the decision to stick with Yamaha for another two seasons.

Asked for the reasons behind taking the decision so early, the Spaniard said the announcement allows him to focus purely on the championship.

“Yamaha and I share the same goals,” he explained. “There is just one target: try to win the title.

“They always have that in mind and to me that’s a very important part.

“I also feel very comfortable at the team; I feel very good with the technical team, with Yamaha, with Movistar. So there was no reason to wait any longer.

“In the end you take a weight off your shoulders and you focus on trying to achieve your goal in these three years we have left.”

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