Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales is an electric young racer who has impressed since the moment he stepped into the world of motorsports. Born in Figueres, Spain in 1995, Maverick began racing mini-moto at the age of just three. By his eighth birthday he was competing successfully in the Catalan 50cc Championship and soon after he found himself racing through several successful seasons on 70cc “MetraKit” bikes. The young star shone soon after and managed back to back championship wins in the Catalan 125cc Championship in 2007 and 2008.

In 2011, Viñales stepped up onto the world stage and began racing in the 125cc World Championship, racing with Aprilia and partnering class veteran, Sergio Gadea. In the 2011 season he managed an awe inspiring victory at Le Mans which saw him become the third youngest rider ever to win a Grand Prix at the age of just 16 years and 123 days. With consistently impressive results for the rest of the season, Viñales finished third and won his first Rookie of the Year Award.

2012 was a difficult year for the young rider and while he started his maiden season in the Moto3 World Championship with five GP wins, a series of crashes and a lack of consistency saw him drop away from the top spot. Going into the Malaysian Grand Prix, Viñales had a chance of getting points on the board and regaining first place, but Viñales shocked the world of motorsports by exiting the race under a storm, withdrawing and flying home. Maverick eventually apologised for his actions and returned to the Championship for the final two races, finishing the season third overall.

By 2013, Maverick was really getting into the swing of things and went into his second season of Moto3 with the wind in his sails, riding alongside Ana Carrassco for Team Calvo. He won early back-to-back victories at the Spanish and French Grand Prixes before struggling to reach the top spot again for a long stretch, despite putting in quality performances. The Spaniard entered the final race of the season with just five points between the top three riders and, after a long battle with title rival Luis Salom emerged victorious, winning his first World Championship.

Viñales only spent one season in Moto2 in 2014 and joined his title rival from Moto3 Luis Salom at Pons Racing. He managed four victories and nine podiums and was awarded his second Rookie of the Year award. Despite being signed up for two years with Pons Racing, it was announced in 2014 that he would be moving up to the MotoGP in 2015 to begin his career at the highest level of motorcycle racing, riding for Suzuki.

Viñales managed to produce consistent results and once again picked up the Rookie of the Year Award for his third category in a row. In 2016, he moved dramatically up the rankings, finishing 4th up from 12th in the previous season.

Maverick Viñales signed a two-year contract with the Yamaha MotoGP Factory Team for the 2017 and 2018 seasons and began his tenure as a Yamaha Factory rider with aplomb. At the Qatar Grand Prix, the first race of the 2017, Viñales thrilled the crowds by storming his way to victory, making him the first Yamaha Rider since 2004 to win on debut and the first MotoGP rider overall to win on debut since 2011. Not only did he debut with a triumph, but the following week he made it back to back GP Wins with an astonishing performance in Argentina.

An exciting rider from the very first to the very last, Maverick Viñales finished his first season with Yamaha, smashing all expectations and putting up the numbers. Viñales rounded out the year in third place and totaled an incredible seven podiums, celebrating three of those from the top step. The Top Gun was proud to announce at the 2018 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team launch in Madrid that he had signed another two year contract, which will see him pilot the M1 for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.