Viñales: Yamaha “throwing away” title chance

by | Nov 6, 2020 | motoGP News, Yamaha

Viñales: Yamaha “throwing away” title chance

The Spaniard reacts to his European GP pitlane start penalty, saying mistakes by the Iwata factory are costing him a shot at the title

On Saturday at the Gran Premio de Europa, it was confirmed that Yamaha have been forced to exceed Maverick Viñales’ (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) 2020 engine allocation and unseal a sixth motor for the MotoGP™ title contender, seeing him being handed a pitlane start for Sunday’s race.

Since Jerez, Viñales has been running the final two engines in his allocation and ever since the San Marino GP, the Spaniard has been exclusively lapping with said engines. And after the news broke on Thursday that Yamaha Motor Company, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP and Petronas Yamaha SRT were given points deductions, the weekend goes from bad to worse for Viñales’ camp.


“The problem is that in Jerez they understood the problem after we close the third engine,” began Viñales in his Friday debrief. “Because if not I would still have had four engines, one more, our problem was to put a new engine for the first race. From Aragon I’m running out of engines, so we were managing the best we can and in the second race I only had one engine with a lot of mileage.

“We’ve done the whole season with two engines, we’ve managed the best we can. It was not safe to ride with the other engine, because maybe I can create oil in the track, so we decided to put a new engine, for safety first, and then, I have a fresh engine, doesn’t matter because finally the speed is the same. We will see. Our problem is not that. The problem is that we are not on the level, I don’t know why but from Misano we lost everything and we can’t find grip. It’s very difficult to ride the bike.”

So when did Viñales find out that this was going to happen? “Yesterday we were discussing if to risk ourselves going with the fifth engine, doing only a few laps in free practice. But for me it’s too risky. If you were first, with 20 points you can do it. The thing is that we don’t have the setting, the bike is not working and then we have to face it with an old engine. It’s true that I need to start from the pitlane but I can’t do anything, that’s it. The title is much more difficult but anything can happen.”

Aforementioned, Viñales’ penalty comes a day after Yamaha were given three separate points deductions in the Constructor and Team Championships. Viñales was asked if he knew from the beginning that Yamaha had broken the rules with the engine openings.

“I didn’t know all of this. Until the last moment I didn’t know anything, so… Yamaha didn’t want to disturb the riders and create any confusion in the team so I didn’t know. I think they managed the best way they can. We will try to do a good job. For sure is not the best weekend in my life, but it is how it is. Maybe it will rain and I can do an epic race.”

An epic race is certainly needed from the man currently third in the title race. However, and understandably, the number 12 was dejected as another potential MotoGP™ World Championship title starts to slip from his grasp.

“You can imagine the feeling I have, every year throwing away the opportunity to win the title with mistakes… My feeling is very bad. I had a perfect situation at home, I have a perfect life, I don’t want to be angry, I want to be happy. So if I don’t have the chance this year I will have the next one, I still have two more years with Yamaha and we can do something great. We will see if in this race we can take out something very positive.


“Maybe I have a special race with a special feeling, I don’t put any limit in myself. Our contenders can make mistakes, it can rain, there can be a red flag… I don’t want to lose the motivation. We are upset, for sure, because we are not riding in the same conditions than the others, but this is our problem. The only problem is that is difficult to overtake with this bike.”

Overtaking is something that Viñales will have to do if he’s to score points on Sunday afternoon. It’s by no means over for the Yamaha star, but things have become all that more difficult in Valencia. 2020 has thrown up surprise after surprise though, so don’t count out Viñales just yet.

Every practice session, qualifying battle and race, exclusive interviews, historic races and so much more fantastic content: this is VideoPass!

Read more here


2021 Suzuki GSX-R600

2021 Suzuki GSX-R600. (Suzuki/)UpsOne of the best-handling sportbikes everSuperbly balanced performanceLight weightDownsNo real updates since 2011A bit priceyNo quickshifterVerdictThe GSX-R600 may be getting long in the tooth, but the middleweight Suzuki is still one...

Longhaulpaul: Ep. 15 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast

Longhaulpaul (Paul Pelland) and his Yamaha Ténéré 700 on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Our guest for Episode 15 of the Rider Magazine Insider Podcast is Longhaulpaul (Paul Pelland), a long-distance motorcyclist who is Chasing the Cure: riding one million miles to...

Royal Enfield SG650 Concept | First Look Review

Unveiled at EICMA 2021, the Royal Enfield SG650 Concept blends neo and retro design elements. In recent years, Royal Enfield has deftly toed the line between modern and retro. The all-new Meteor 350 calls back to brand’s mid-century cruisers while the Google-powered...

Ladies Who Ride: Reviews! Dainese Impeto Motorcycle Gloves

MoreBikes caught up with 25 year old Orthodontic dental nurse and Isle of Wight resident Tahnee Attwood. Tahnee rides (takes deep breath..) K6 GSXR 750, Yamaha R1, KTM 500 exc, Honda CRF450X in dirt set up and CRF450R in Supermoto set up! Luckily, she took time off...

Braketech Ventilated Brake Pistons

Some posh chassis kit is destined to be on show all the time – but only you will know that these sweet Braketech vented pistons from HPS are doing a proper job on your bike. They’re produced from super finish stainless steel and have a cunning design aimed to cut heat...

2022 Yamaha YZF-R7 World GP 60th Anniversary Preview

The newest member of Yamaha’s sportbike line, the YZF-R7 will come in special World GP 60th Anniversary dress in 2022. (Yamaha/)In celebration of 60 years of World Grand Prix competition, Yamaha is releasing a number of anniversary edition sportbikes for the 2022...

The Moto Beach Classic Returns to Bolsa Chica, CA

A purpose build asphalt oval track will host a number of races including the 2021 Super Hooligan National Championship final. The Moto Beach Classic returns to Bolsa Chica on Saturday, October 23rd. Entry is free for a full day of motorcycle racing from the final...

Form And Function: Ashley Watson’s Waxed Cotton Jackets for Motorcyclists

From the green hills of the Central Hemisphere comes Ashley Watson. Ashley is a designer who has been itching to update the laminated fabric of traditional motorcycle gear into a more classic, sustainable choice  – and he’s gone and done it with waxed cotton. ...

Dutch TT – 90 years of motorsport history

Dutch TT - 90 years of motorsport history The Cathedral of Speed celebrates nine decades of hosting elite-level racing The 90th Dutch TT will be a memorable one. Delayed by a year due to Covid-19, this anniversary will not be the big party that was planned, but the...

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Fireball trim) (Royal Enfield/)UpsThe beginner cruiser market gains one more competitorImpressive, well-balanced handlingEngine power may not be jaw-dropping, but its mild-mannered delivery and lack of vibration provides a very relaxed...