MotorcycleDaily.com – Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Viñales Suspended by Yamaha – Will Not Race This Weekend at Austrian MotoGP Event

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team has suspended Maverick Viñales and withdrawn his entry as a rider in this weekend’s Austrian MotoGP event. As explained in the following press release, this decision was taken as a result of “unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle” by Viñales during the Styrian MotoGP race last Sunday.

Behind the scenes, the following is being reported by multiple sources. Viñales apparently felt that Yamaha had done something to his bike between the first start and the second (following the fiery crash involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori). Apparently, the bike did not work well after the restart, actually stalling and forcing Viñales to start from pit lane. The father of Viñales has openly criticized Yamaha over this situation.

It is also being reported that Viñales, on his way to a last place finish, was over-revving his Yamaha M1 down the front straight during each of the last 3 or 4 laps, leaving the bike in 5th and refusing to shift into 6th gear. A look at Viñales’ top speed down the straight on the last few laps is consistent with this. It appears that Yamaha concluded that Viñales was trying to damage the engine on his M1. Here is the press release from Yamaha:

Yamaha regrets to announce that Maverick Viñales‘ entry to this weekend‘s Austrian MotoGP event has been withdrawn by the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team.

The absence follows the suspension of the rider by Yamaha due to the unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle by the rider during last weekend‘s Styria MotoGP race.

Yamaha‘s decision follows an in-depth analysis of telemetry and data over the last days.

Yamaha‘s conclusion is that the rider‘s actions could have potentially caused significant damage to the engine of his YZR-M1 bike which could have caused serious risks to the rider himself and possibly posed a danger to all other riders in the MotoGP race.

The rider will not be replaced at the Austrian GP.

Decisions regarding the future races will be taken after a more detailed analysis of the situation and further discussions between Yamaha and the rider.

41 Comments

  1. mickey says:

    Well the news is out, but I won’t make the announcement. Good luck to the factory from Noales. Let’s see if you can make him happy lol.

  2. L. Ron Jeremy says:

    Mav came clean and said, “Yes, I was so frustrated that I tired to grenade the engine. I so sorry. Please forgive me Yamaha as I have sinned”.

    No an exact quote but fairly close.

  3. Gary says:

    Awww … life is so unfair, isn’t it Maverick? Take your ball and run on home to your daddy.

  4. My2cents says:

    Yamaha and red lines, probably don’t want to go there. A frustrated rider trying to be top notch on sub par equipment isn’t new for Yamaha.

    • mickey says:

      My question would be if the Yamaha was sub par quipment how do you explain Quatararo leading the Championship by 40 points and being either on pole or the front row in every race this year but one? (including for tomorrow) while breaking multiple track records?

      • Curt says:

        Good question! 😉 Others below pose an answer, and I tend to agree: something wrong with rider, bike just fine.

    • Motoman says:

      Suppose I know the source of this type of comment. Every rider complains at some point that they are better than the equipment. Just look at Yamaha’s record over the years. It speaks for itself. And besides, you think Yamaha wants to lose the constructor and team championships?

      • fred says:

        Yamaha’s record includes top-speed deficits, apologies to riders, failure to prepare Spies’ bike properly, the wall between Rossi & Lorenzo, failure to celebrate Lorenzo’s last Championship, valve issues, and lots of other questionable rider support incidents.

        Mav’s complaints are real, even if his reaction was inadvisable.

        • Motoman says:

          You make some good points fred. But I disagree with you on the overall performance of Yamaha over the years. They indeed have a top speed deficit but seem to be able to do well due to in other areas. A Ducati will never turn as well as a Yamaha. And Quatararo is leading the race this year and Suzuki won the championship last year both with a serious too speed deficit. And all teams make mistakes from time to time. I would have fired Vinales already if it was my decision.

  5. ScotocS says:

    What are the chances he gets to ride in any of the remaining races for this season?

  6. Buzz says:

    Wonder if he’s gonna change his name from Maverick to Cole Trickle

  7. Burtg says:

    As I said earlier, telemetry data doesn’t lie. This video catches him red-handed:

    https://youtu.be/LP3n-M6B_hs

  8. Jeremy says:

    I presume this was effectively a temper tantrum. Given that Vinales would know Yamaha would certainly see exactly what was happening when reviewing the data, he had to have been acting in a blind rage. An analog to smashing your tennis racquet on the court in frustration.

    He had better hope Aprilia is desperate enough to sign him because I don’t think anyone else will, now.

  9. mickey says:

    I sure haven’t read that report. I read where he said his dashboard kept saying Pit Pit Pit and the motor made a strange noise and wouldn’t work right, then ran right, then at the end didn’t run right, AND that the traction control was malfunctioning.

    The company that made his bike is the same company that made the bike leading the World Championship by a good margin.

    I love the conspiracy theories that say Yamaha is submarining Vinales. After all they are only paying him millions each year for the last couple of years to represent the company all over the world showcasing their product, hiring and firing 3 different crew chiefs to suit him, all with the same results..or lack of results, only to have the bike and the team bad mouthed to the press on multiple occasions. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you comes to mind.

    This may be be the best thing for both parties.

    At least Zarco made it quick and clean.

  10. Tom K. says:

    While I’m typically a fan of Occam and his shaving products, I do look forward to Viñales’ detailed story. While it’s seriously hard to believe Yamaha would sabotage their own bike, could a mechanic have made a mistake (maybe software) that hurt sixth gear performance, and it turned into finger pointing? You’d think that would be discoverable, though.

    But yeah, it looks like the Maverick’s cajones got the better of his judgment with respect to making water in his boss’ cornflakes, which usually doesn’t end well. Unless he can back up his claims in a very believable fashion, (as Mickey stated) he’ll likely be doing something else for a living going forward – maybe a Sommelier?

    • RRocket says:

      The story I read said that between the red flag, Yamaha wanted to change the clutch and Vinales insisted they leave it as is, since he had a great start previously.

      They ignored him and changed the clutch. Afterwards, the bike ran poorly.

      While I agree that Vinales is a hot-head, I can certainly see why he’s extremely pissed. He had a bike that was working…and Yamaha gave him back a bike that was working less well after he insisted they leave it alone.

      I think any racer would be seething…but maybe not to the extent that Vinales took it.

      • mickey says:

        Finally found a report about the clutch. Yamaha changed it because last year on the red flag restart at this track, his clutch over heated, and they wanted to make sure that didn’t happen again. They also put on a new rear tire.

        • TimC says:

          I can’t imagine a new clutch would cause poor running or any other “slow bike” problem unless it was flat-out broken – which I’d expect to be almost impossible.

        • Mick says:

          If they were replacing the clutch in an undetermined amount of time, they were working fast. Given the comment about the dash saying Pit Pit Pit, the TC malfunctioning and strange engine noises. I would assume that there was a bad or poorly connected sensor that wasn’t bad or poorly connected when he came in and asked them not to mess with his bike.

          I understand that that would frustrate the lad. He should have pitted like the dash said and chewed their asses for while and not try to deliberately destroy a zillion dollars worth of hardware.

          Some people’s kids.

        • Motoman says:

          A new clutch and rear tire would seem to be a bare minimum for a restart at this level on a track where they fried a clutch last time. As TimC says that would not change the engine set-up.

          I think Maverick should take his toys and go play by himself somewhere.

          • Mick says:

            Who’s clutch? Maverick’s clutch? Some guys are really hard on clutches while other are not.

            I just think that if the guy says don’t monkey with the bike, other than tires, then don’t monkey with the bike. He may have been awfully petulant about being right. But he may well have been right. The hurried wrenching on his bike could have been the source of the malfunctions. It happens at every level.

            Too bad we will probably never know what the problem with his bike was and what was the probable cause. One can only infer from how the relationship progresses in the near future.

            If everybody makes nice fairly quickly, well, maybe the clutch job was a bad idea.

          • mickey says:

            Knowing Vinales penchant and history for blaming others for his inadequacies, I don’t think he would have been apologizing to the media and Yamaha and taking the blame if it really was someone else’s fault.

            He has said multiple times in the past, he knows how much talent he has, that he has the talent to be World Champion, but Yamaha can’t build a bike to take advantage of that.

            I’m sure Aprilia can bwahahaha

          • Motoman says:

            Ever hear of a holeshot device Mick? The rider uses the clutch once per race and the electronics have full control. And they have all the data they need to know what happened.

            Back in the day I would agree with you.

  11. Brinskee says:

    I don’t see how he’ll ever get paid to ride a MotoGP machine again.

    Here’s what I don’t understand, on top of the whole story in general: Didn’t he KNOW his team would pour over the race-data after the GP? They must do that after EVERY RACE! Wouldn’t they see clutch-in, throttle WFO? And wouldn’t he KNOW THIS!?

    Was this his way of getting out of his contract early or something? So very odd…

    • Dave says:

      For all of his inconsistencies, he’s proven he can win moto gp races. That makes him a better bet than 3/4 of the riders in the sport. He is unlikely to get a contract as lucrative as the one he’s leaving but I bet he has no trouble finding another seat it he wants it.

  12. Todd says:

    Yamaha did the same thing to Spies.

    • Brinskee says:

      Are you referring to that race where they left a wrench on his bike or something like that? Details?

      Personally, I don’t think Yam did anything to sabotage Spies, I think he was just too big to ever be super-competitive. He won Assen fair and square in the dry if I recall correctly, but he was a big dude compared to Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Rossi, etc. Never really had a shot at being world champ.

      But I’m interested in your angle.

      • mickey says:

        Spies MotoGP shoulder injury never got better than 70% after surgery according to an interview I read. He tried racing in the dirt but in 2018 had another accident in Texas, broken collarbone and scapula, collapsed lung, broken ribs. I think that was the end of his playing with motorcycles.

    • Todd says:

      Just a joke.

  13. L. Ron Jeremy says:

    Been a Mav fan for a long time and it’s a shame he’s ending his career with a petulant fit of emotional whiney bitch.

    Too bad, so sad.

  14. Tom R says:

    I guess he really is a… “Maverick”.

  15. Pat says:

    What an idiot…

  16. Ricardo says:

    If he is going to continue to race motorcycles, he needs to go to an anger management training. Trying to destroy the motorcycle and potentially causing injuries to everyone on the track is not acceptable, almost seems like he is acting like a child.I would like to hear what is his excuse.
    I will not be surprised if he is fired for breach of contract.

  17. Birtg says:

    Telemetry data doesn’t lie. Period.

  18. Burtg says:

    Telemetry data doesn’t lie. So they caught him red-handed. Period.
    My own two cents: Maverick is grossly inconsistent race to race. From a pure performance standpoint, he is completely undeserving of this covered factory Yamaha ride.
    Plus, he’s got some mental health issues to deal with as seen by his behavior. I hope he gets help because he is a very talented and fast rider. It’s sad to see him squandering the opportunity.

  19. Mick says:

    Sounds like ol’ Maverick has taken that Monster Energy sponsorship seriously. Acting like he’s WAY too jacked on caffeine.

  20. Tommy D says:

    You hate to hear stories like this. Emotions run hot in racing. Most of our hero’s have shown signs of this narcissistic behavior. I think it’s a requirement for this level of the sport. We’ve seen running someone off the track, pulling another riders front brake to trying to blow a motor during a race… I say small potatoes in this realm.

    I will say that his hot or cold tendency does have me wondering what is going on. I’m sure Yamaha isn’t screwing with his bike but he honestly feels that is happening. Might be lizard people that sneak in at night. The ones living under the Denver airport… LOL

  21. ducremus says:

    Crash.net stated he was repeatedly bouncing off the rev-limter during the race. It’s beginning to look like he’s got some serious mental issues to deal with.

    • TimC says:

      Henry Manney (I am 85% sure this credit is correct) remarked something to the effect of all racers have to be a little nuts to do what they do (like driving at Spa in the rain), but if they didn’t race they’d probably be really loony….

  22. mickey says:

    “unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle”

    Does that cover running down his crew chief, mechanical team and Yamaha to anyone that would listen?

    That guy is poison. If he ever picks up another ride I will be surprised, I don’t care how much talent he has, and my sympathies to anyone who does sign him.