until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League


Yamaha suspends Vinales over ‘irregular’ bike operation

by Simon Patterson
2 min read

until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales has been suspended from this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, after his team this morning strongly hinted it believes he may have purposely damaged his Yamaha M1 during last weekend’s race at the Red Bull Ring.

According to a brief statement released by the team, Vinales was withdrawn from this weekend’s race in Austria due to “unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle by the rider during last weekend” and will not be replaced.

“Yamaha‘s decision follows an in-depth analysis of telemetry and data over the last days,” the team explained.

“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.”

Vinales made a strong start to the Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, making his best getaway of the year to run in podium contention until the red flags came out for a fiery crash involving Dani Pedrosa and Lorenzo Savadori.

Aug 12 : Why Yamaha has suspended Vinales

Upon the restart, however, Vinales went backwards, reporting a litany of technical problems including a burnt out clutch, irregular dashboard messages, intermittent electronic rider aid failures and a bad Michelin tyre.

Set to finish in last place for the second time in three races, he instead pulled in with a lap remaining.

However, it seems from Yamaha’s statement that it now believes that Vinales deliberately sabotaged the bike – an almost unheard-of claim that if it can prove it will certainly spell the end of his time as a racer for the team.

He was already set to leave the team at the end of the 2021 season, halfway through a one-year deal, after a difficult start to the season led to him breaking his contract with the team.

He is believed to be close to signing a deal to move to Aprilia for 2022, replacing Savadori in the Italian team.

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