Maverick Vinales In Shock Decision To Leave Team With Three Races To Go

Maverick Vinales has shocked the Moto3 paddock at Sepang by announcing he is leaving the Blusens Avintia team with immediate effect. The Spaniard, who took no part in Friday's free practice at Sepang, cited broken promises and dissatisfaction with the team for the reason for leaving. According to Spanish daily Marca, Vinales has flown back to Spain with his father, Angel, after a meeting with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta failed to reach a solution.

In an interview with the official website, Vinales talked off worsening relations with the team, after he had called for updates for his FTR Honda to allow him to compete with Sandro Cortese in the Moto3 championship race. His biggest complaint was about the level of the team. "It's not that much about the support," Vinales told, "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."

Avintia Blusens team manager Ricard Jove was dismayed at Vinales decision. In a press release, the team said that the decision "was bad for all concerned, for the team, for the sponsors, and for the championship." The team was "surprised, sad and disillusioned at such a serious decision," the press release said. "It does not make any sense not to finish the championship," Jove said.

The problem for Vinales is that he had just signed a two-year deal with the BQR team (which runs the Blusens Avintia Moto3 team) to race in Moto3 again in 2013, with an option to extend for a year and move up to Moto2 in 2014. Walking out on the team now puts him in a very weak bargaining position for 2013. There are already teams who want to sign the young Spaniard for next year, with Marca reporting that he already has offers from both the Aspar team and Aki Ajo for next year. Making the situation more difficult is the fact that Ricard Jove, Vinales' personal manager, is also the manager of the Avintia Blusens team, with Marca also reporting rumors that Vinales had not been informed of those offers before he signed the contract extension with Avintia Blusens. In the worst case scenario, the team could hold Vinales to his contract, which would force the Spaniard to miss a season. Solving that situation could well turn out to be expensive.

That could be part of the problem. Spanish website reported recently that Repsol had decided to drop its sponsorship of Vinales at the end of this season. Repsol, which provides support for a number of riders in Moto2 and Moto3, including Marc Marquez, Alex Rins, Miguel Oliveira and Alex Marquez, has decided to concentrate on supporting the Monlau Competicion team, which runs Marquez in Moto2, and Rins, Marquez and Oliveira in Moto3, slimming down its support to a two-man Moto3 team, leaving both Vinales and Oliveira out in the cold.

Though nobody doubts the talent of Vinales, quitting now will raise concerns over his future. Though there have doubtless been frictions in the team, Vinales' results do not appear to show a lack of competitiveness. The Spaniard has won five races this season - more than anyone else in the Moto3 class - and a couple of crashes have cost him valuable points in the championship. Perhaps those crashes were a result of having to push too hard to keep up with Cortese on the KTM, but the other Honda-powered machines have also scored good results, in the hands of Romano Fenati, Alessandro Tonucci, and Alex Rins.

Who will take Vinales' place in the BQR team is as yet unknown. The split is still too recent, and if Vinales could make it back to Sepang in time for qualifying, he could still take part in the race this weekend. But the tone of the talks has so far been far from conciliatory, and each passing hour makes such a scenario more and more unlikely.


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I hope we see him race sooner rather than later.

Not knowing any facts BUT if the manager didn't tell about possible other rides other than his own team then it's very unfair to Vinales.

I don't know about manager contracts but I would think there are something about communicating contract offers?

The initial contract breach was between Vinales and Jove, with Jove failing to inform Vinales about offers from other teams, when he was contractually obliged too as Vinales personal manager. Here Jove had a conflict of interest as he is also the team manager and wanted to sign Finales too the team and not allow him to go elsewhere. Vinales signed a contract on the belief there were not other offers because Jove withheld the info. His recently signed contract will not be enforceable.

If the team manager, abusing his position as Viñales' personal manager, got him to sign a contract under false pretences the contract surely is void (though, IANAL ☺). That Maverick is still a minor may weigh even more heavily against the team and the manager.

This calls into question his own ethics and commitment. He has only the slimmest chance of winning the championship but when this kind of thing happens more people are let down.
He was certainly competitive at Motegi, if lacking a bit of top end. The team elected to use Honda and are bound by what is available to them. If they needed to change machinery or develop, there is the off season to do it.
This shows poor judgement in my opinion.

Edit: This was in reply to bot13's post...

He's one of my favorites out of all the classes right now and I'm sure a future World Champion - most likely multiple times.

Sad to see such politics ruining the sport.

There is a lot of speculation and hearsay in the comments on this issue and while that is hardly unusual in this case it seems to me there is a lot more to this than what we currently know.

If the allegations against Jove, that he got Maverick to sign to Blu-sens having deceived him as to the nature of other offers, are true, then it's Jove's ethics that seem downright dubious. Maverick, in that case, is making the best of a bad situation by denying his services to someone he has apparently just discovered defrauded him.

We'll hear more about this, I'm sure.

Jove is also the manager of Julian Simon. That also did not work out very well (from the outside the problems look simular to what Vinales is describing now).

I expect that Vinales did not make this decision lightly. There must be something seriously wrong. Albeit from the outside it does not look very professional. But again the BQR team had a lot of riders in the past, and the ones I heared off where not very positive....

Leaving with 3 races to go while still (barely) in the hunt for the championship is unbelievable. There is more to this story than is being told

"Ricard Jove, Vinales' personal manager, is also the manager of the Avintia Blusens team." Talk about a conflict of interests...

However, Vinales' decision making process in this situation is puzzling to say the least.

because i have seen him on thursday participating on gokart challenge... not sure whether if he was accompanied by someone... but he doesn't look that cheerful... thought that was his character... could something has happened after that?..

I would think Vinales will have some financial penalties thrown at him for leaving the squad regardless of whether he has had a fall out with his manager or the team or both, being as he had signed a contract.
But as Bot13 has said above, with Jove keeping potential future ride offers from him that could negate that contract. I hope so other wise it could ruin him and his credibility as a top flight racer.
I would also think he has not earned enough money as yet to be able to buy himself out of any contract if the need arises.

IF Jove does get to exercise the option to sideline MV for the duration of his GP contract with blusens to stop him riding for any other team, would that stand if he was to leave for two years and race in a n other championship, World SuperSport for instance??

To my way of thinking, Jove is blusens and the company deliberately purpetrated a fraud on Vinales to keep him. He is obviously confident enough to walk. I say bravo! MV will be back, and on his own terms. Plus he'll not likely trust anybody again, which will serve him well.

The MotoGP article interview linked seems to shed some light on the situation. Obviously the conflict of interest between the manager and the rider played a big part.


" 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."

And there you have it.

Why are managers allowed to have these kinds of conflicts of interest in the first place?