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The Maverick Vinales defection from Suzuki to Yamaha for 2017 is set to be confirmed at Mugello on Thursday in advance of this weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

The announcement of the drawn-out Vinales-Yamaha saga is now a formality following confirmation that Dani Pedrosa has signed a two year extension to his Repsol Honda contract until the end 2018.

Vinales always had first option on the Yamaha gig despite a whirlwind of speculation that Pedrosa was being lined up for what would have been a surprise switch to Yamaha.

Pedrosa, 30, has been a lifetime Honda man and is now his 11th season of MotoGP with the factory team. Yamaha is focussed on the future and the youthful speed of Vinales, 21, was always their primary choice.

And true to their word Suzuki has not invoked an option that could have forced Vinales to stay at least one more season in 2017.

Vinales fancies himself as the next alien and will replace Jorge Lorenzo at Yamaha as he bids to realise his fiercely held ambition to win the MotoGP world championship.

Vinales will step aboard the world championship winning Yamaha YZR-M1 as teammate to Valentino Rossi having decided that Suzuki’s impressive GSX-RR project is still not ready to not fast-track his title ambitions.

Suzuki is now targeting Italian ace Andrea Iannone to replace Vinales and that deal is close to conclusion thus leaving Ducati to confirm that Andrea Dovizioso will remain on contract.

Dovizioso is Ducati’s preferred teammate to Lorenzo for 2017 as the red team focusses its efforts on Lorenzo’s bid to win Ducati’s first world title since casey Stoner in 2007.

With Iannone joining Suzuki will look for continuity, a strategy that will likely mean an extension to Aleix Espargaro’s deal.

French rider and 2015 Moto2 world champion Johann Zarco is also chasing that gig but despite a Suzuki test contract his move is stalling because Suzuki will enter only two bikes in 2017.

Suzuki has all but canned a plan to supply bikes to a satellite team in 2017 which would have been Zarco’s option. Moto2 starlet Alex Rins is also on a short list for a MotoGP gig but a factory spot as a rookie in 2017 would be a big call..