“Dangerous” scandal in MotoGP: Team locks pilot after accusation of sabotage

“Dangerous” scandal in MotoGP
Team locks pilot after allegation of sabotage

At his own request, Maverick Vinales is leaving the Yamaha team at the end of the MotoGP season. But now the racing team is suspending the pilot with immediate effect. He is said to have caused an unnecessary risk for himself and his competitors with his behavior in the most recent race.

The imminent separation between the former motorcycle world champion Maverick Vinales and the Yamaha works team is still noisy – and has a curious chapter richer. The racing team will not use the Spaniard at the Grand Prix in Austria next weekend and justifies this with his behavior in the previous race, which also took place in Spielberg: Vinales operated the motorcycle irregularly.

This has resulted in a detailed analysis of the telemetry data in the past few days. “The actions of the driver could have caused considerable damage to his engine, which could have resulted in a serious risk for the driver himself and possible dangers for all other participants,” the statement said. Noisy “Speedweek” it is even about allegations of sabotage: According to this, the pilot tried to intentionally damage or even destroy the engine.

As the “Motorsport Magazine” reported, the engine of Vinales’ machine had gone out in the previous race in the introductory lap to restart, which is why the 26-year-old started from the pit lane. Then he ignored the “Pit Lane” command that was permanently on his display on the handlebars and only hit the pit shortly before the end of the race. He himself then said that he had found the ad to be faulty.

Vinales will not be replaced in Austria, where the MotoGP race will take place on Sunday (2 p.m.). It remains to be seen whether the 26-year-old will start again for the works team. Decisions about future races should be made after a “more intensive analysis of the situation and after further discussions with the driver”. In the world championship standings, the 26-year-old is in sixth place, while his team-mate Fabio Quartararo is at the top.

It has been clear since the end of June that Vinales will leave the racing team at his own request after the current season and before the actual end of the contract. After a last place at the Sachsenring, he had publicly criticized the team for allegedly lacking support and disrespect. Vinales switched from Suzuki to Yamaha in 2017. He celebrated nine Grand Prix victories in MotoGP, a total of 25 so far, and in the 2013 season he won the Moto3 World Championship.