Vinales urges Rossi to extend Yamaha deal

Valentino Rossi is undecided as to whether to extend his Movistar Yamaha deal, but Maverick Vinales is keen for his team-mate to stay.

Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales jostle for position   -  Getty Images

Maverick Vinales has urged Valentino Rossi to extend his stay at Movistar Yamaha beyond the 2018 season.

Earlier this week, Vinales committed his future to the team through to 2020, despite reported interest from elsewhere.

MotoGP legend Rossi has yet to confirm if he will prolong his stay, stating that he is in "no rush" and may even decide to call time on his distinguished career.

Vinales, though, hopes that the Italian stays on as having Rossi in the team motivates him to produce his best on the bike.

"I hope he renews," Vinales said. "At the end of the day Valentino is a very important figure in our team, he makes you give five per cent 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 the year as the leading Yamaha [in the standings] was very nice since we couldn't fight for the title. But that doesn't mean anything.

"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."

Suzuki and KTM were among the reported teams interested in snapping up Vinales, but he explained that he felt his best chances of winning a maiden riders' title is by sticking with Yamaha.

"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 [title sponsor] Movistar. So there was no reason to wait any longer."

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