Yamaha Factory Racing has made a shocking announcement that they've pulled Maverick Viñales from the Austrian MotoGP ahead of this weekend's event.
In a statement released on Thursday (12 August) on the team's official website, Yamaha said they regret to announce that The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team has withdrawn Maverick Viñales' entry to this weekend's Austrian MotoGP event.
"The absence follows the rider's suspension by Yamaha due to the unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle by the rider during last weekend's Styria MotoGP race.
"Yamaha's decision follows an in-depth analysis of telemetry and data over the last days.
"Yamaha's conclusion is that the rider's actions could have potentially caused significant damage to the engine of his YZR-M1 bike, which could have caused serious risks to the rider himself and possibly posed a danger to all other riders in the MotoGP race.
"The rider will not be replaced at the Austrian GP.
"Decisions regarding the future races will be taken after a more detailed analysis of the situation and further discussions between Yamaha and the rider."
According to motorsport.com, the factory team has suspended the rider for "deliberately trying to damage his bike's engine during the Styrian GP" earlier in August. However, this recent event seems to add to the drama of Vinales shock announcement earlier in July when the #12 rider announced his exit from the team at the end of the current season.
Vinales has been racing with Yamaha since 2017.
Vinales said after the Styrian GP that he had a "great race" before the red flag, but everything changed after the team had changed his clutch and tyre.
The motorsport.com website further reports Yahama claims that the rider "tried to over-rev his engine on the way into the pit lane when he entered the garage lane at the end of the second race, without crossing the finish line."A team technician also explained to the publication that Yamaha backs up its conclusion with the telemetry data of the bike. The factory team says the bikes have a rev limiter which is there to avoid the possibility of unintentional over-revving. However, a bike can be deliberately over-revved.The occasion of a team is quite shocking as this kind of event doesn't often occur in the sport. With that said, it has been seen before.
As the publication also reports, this instance is similar to the controversial event between Suzuki and John Kocinski in 1993.
Kocinski, according to reports, didn't have a good relationship with team officials. He blew his bike's engine by idling and refused to take the podium during the Dutch MotoGP in Assen.
Sources: Motorsport.com, Yamaha Factory Racing