Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales is a bright young star who has shone since the moment he stepped into the world of motorsports. Born in Figueres, Spain in 1995, Maverick started racing minimoto at the tender age of just three. By the time he was seven he was competing in the Catalan 50cc Championship and not long after he found himself battling through several successful seasons on 70cc “MetraKit” Bikes. In 2007 and 2008 he managed back to back championship wins in the Catalan 125cc Championship.

In 2011, Viñales moved onto the world stage and began competing in the 125cc World Championship, riding for Aprilia and partnering class veteran, Sergio Gadea. In the 2011 season he managed a nail biting win 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 solid results from the rest of the season, Viñales finished third and won his first Rookie of the Year Award.

2012 was a tumultuous 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 from the top spot. Going into the Malaysian Grand Prix Viñales still had a chance of getting points on the board and regaining first place, but Maverick shocked the world of motorsports by leaving the race under a storm, withdrawing and flying home. Viñales eventually apologised for his actions and returned to the Championship for the final two races; finishing the season in third.

By 2013, Maverick was really hitting his stride and he went into his second season of Moto3 with the wind in his sails, riding alongside Ana Carrassco for Team Calvo. He won back to back victories at the Spanish and French Grand Prix early in the season before struggling to reach the top spot again for a long stretch, despite putting up impressive 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 in 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 hasn’t even finished his first season with Yamaha and he’s already smashing expectations and putting up the numbers. With the second half of the season still to come it’s all up for grabs and Viñales will re-enter the championship just five points off the number one spot and hungry for victory.