Maverick Vinales has sensationally walked out on the Blusens Avintia squad in Malaysia, despite still having a mathematical chance of winning the championship. The 17 year old trails Sandro Cortese by 56 points but has refused to take part in the final three races of the season, claiming in an interview with motogp.com that the team have let him down.
“We won’t take part in the race as the team hasn’t complied with the agreement we had. Since halfway through the season, they haven’t done all they could, I’m always giving my best – so I wanted to leave the team after those last three races and have a “clean” break-up, but they wouldn’t agree so today I’m heading home. It’s not that much about the support, but I think it’s a second division team – I have to try and win the Championship next year and I don’t think I could do it with this team, so that’s why I took this decision.”
Team Manager Ricard Jove said he was informed of Vinales’ intentions last night and is furious at the way his rider has conducted himself. Also speaking to motogp.com, Jove believes it is Vinales that has let people down, specifically the team and its sponsors.
“He first told us last night that he did not want to continue until the end of the season because he was unhappy with the bike, and we at first thought it was just him saying something like any other rider….well, in the end he didn’t turn up and we don’t take this behaviour very well, because in the end we are second in the championship, have taken five wins, seven podiums and have had a worthy season. It does not make any kind of sense to not at least finish the championship – about this I cannot say any more – but it was the rider who ultimately decided not to get on the bike.”
“This works in reverse as well as you have a contract – you work, do the season, and then we can discuss, away from the media limelight, if we terminate the deal. But now, you can’t stop from one day to the next as you have commitments with the sponsors, with the mechanics, the years spent with the team in his career. We should not be nothing to him; it has been a pleasure to work together but today it is clear that before reaching that point you have to first finish your work and then discus other points.”
Jove has also refuted the suggestion that Vinales wasn’t made aware of other offers for 2013 prior to signing a two-year extension with the team.
“Next year, he’s already been informed of everything that would be available or would not have been. And I repeat that this is simply an error airing these views that you could discuss, try to fix, and within a few hours something could have changed. We do not understand his decision and we feel bad for the team; I think it’s wrong by the sponsors and the people who are contributing to his career.”