Yamaha suspends Maverick Viñales

Some weeks back, Maverick Viñales (MV12) and Yamaha have announced a mutual agreement that they will be parting ways after the end of the 2021 MotoGP season. With just a few months remaining in the season, Yamaha has recently suspended the Spanish rider for the upcoming Austrian GP. This is the direct result of his actions that may have caused significant damage to the YZR-M1 race bike, which then could’ve caused serious risk not only to him but to other racers

“Yamaha regrets to announce that Maverick Viñales’ entry to this weekend’s Austrian MotoGP event has been withdrawn by the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team,” and added that “the suspension of the rider by Yamaha [is] due to the unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle by the rider during last weekend’s Styria MotoGP race.”

Yamaha says that they’ve been analyzing the data from the YZR-M1 since Styrian GP, which led them to this conclusion.

What happened?

At the last race, the Syrian GP, a red flag was waved after an incident involving Dani Pedrosa of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing and Lorenzo Savadori of Aprilia Racing Team Gresini caused a huge oil spill and fire. Viñales then stalled his bike on the grid just before the warm up lap began for the restart.

The Spaniard was then forced to take his bike off the grid and do the restart from the pitlane exit.

Is Vinales purposely losing to piss off Yamaha? image

After catching and passing some riders in the opening exchanges, Viñales was then handed a Long Lap Penalty for exceeding track limits. After the Long Lap Penalty had been served with 15 laps to go, Viñales wasn’t able to recover the positions he had gained prior to the penalty.

Then, on the final lap, the onboard images show Viñales causing the bike to hit the rev limiter on the exit of Turn 8 before he pulled into the pitlane, where again he hit the rev limiter on his YZR-M1 on another two occasions. Viñales did not finish the race.

Will it be over for Yamaha and MV12?

News about Maverick’s dissatisfaction with the team has been going around for quite some time now, which then led to the June announcement that they're parting ways.

These recent actions of MV12 have led many to suggest that it could be a sign of rebelling and possibly, to convince the manufacturer to terminate his contract earlier.

For Yamaha, the decision whether or not to continue with MV12’s services after the Austrian GP will depend on the outcome of their investigation, as well as discussions with Viñales.

“Decisions regarding the future races will be taken after a more detailed analysis of the situation and further discussions between Yamaha and the rider,” says Yamaha on their official statement.