Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) is a driver with whom you have never known exactly where you are for many years. As the winner of the opening race in Losail, after two second places in Jerez de la Frontera, everything initially went according to plan, but then there was a problem and in the middle of the year the official announcement of the separation of Yamaha from the Spaniard.

Yamaha suspends Viñales for the Austrian GP

We still remember a situation in 2012, through which today’s Yamaha star in Moto3 caused a shake of the head. Before the Malaysian Grand Prix, the 17-year-old had one chance, albeit a small one, of the title in the junior class. With five wins and seven podium places, he was in second place behind Sandro Cortese, 56 points behind the Germans. However, the young Catalan did not take part in the opening training session in Sepang, and cited the reason for his dissatisfaction with his team, which he wanted to leave at the end of the season. Viñales had travelled to Sepang, and blamed the team’s poor performance and refusal to allow him to leave at the end of the year for his early exit. “We will not take part in the race because the team has not kept our agreement,” he said at the time. This time it is his current team, Monster Energy Yamaha, which blew a bomb shortly before the Austrian GP.

Maverick Viñales is a driver who in the past has often caused controversy about his behaviour and performance. It was only recently announced that his father wanted to withdraw the Supersport 300 team, which had been announced with a lot of pomp before the start of the season, prematurely from the World Cup.

Yamaha’s strange justification for suspending the sixth place in the World Championship
According to the official announcement from Monster Energy Yamaha, Viñales will not compete again at the Red Bull Ring due to “unexplained irregular use of the motorcycle at the Styrian GP”. This Yamaha explanation is very general and imprecise, but it allows only one conclusion. When examining his bike and evaluating the data, it must have been found that Maverick must have literally mistreated his Yamaha M1 on the Styria GP weekend with full intent. Another interpretation is not conceivable. Monster Energy Yamaha confirms this with the following additional statement: “Decisions about the future races will be made after a more detailed analysis of the situation and further discussions between Yamaha and the driver”. This even allows for an early release if the Spaniard does not apologize for his behaviour.

Maverick Viñales (Monster Energy Yamaha) photographed by us in pole position shortly before the start of the Qatar Grand Prix in March 2019 – in the race the Catalan didn’t go as he wanted, and he clearly missed the podium. It has been considered a lucky bag for years and often shows inexplicable fluctuations in performance from one day to the next.

Out of the fight for a top result as sixth in the World Championship

When he caused a veritable scandal at Avintia Blusens 9 years ago, the young man from Figueres, near the French border, endangered his future. Nevertheless, he got a chance afterwards, also because his talent was undisputed. On a KTM, he became Moto3 World Champion for another team the following year. Then he went to Moto2 and only a year later to Suzuki as a works’ driver in MotoGP. Thanks to a very strange development of the title fight in the premier class, as in the first Corona year, Maverick is still in sixth intermediate place. But this is likely to change next Sunday at the Austrian GP. At the moment, it has to be expected that he will never sit on a Yamaha M1 again.

The interim World Championship for all classes before the 2nd Spielberg GP

From left to right MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 and with Yamaha now two regular drivers missing due to the suspension of Maverick and the injury of Frankie “Morbido” Morbidelli, who has been replaced by Cal Crutchlow up to and including Silverstone since the summer break.

Unless otherwise stated, this applies to all images (© MotoGP).

>GP Austria preview see separate report on this page.