Marc VDS miss out on Maverick Vinales

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Maverick Vinales has rejected the chance to sign a long-term deal to race in Moto3 and Moto2 with Scott Redding’s Marc VDS Racing squad.

After much behind-the-scenes manoeuvring and negotiating by Marc VDS management, the Spaniard was offered the chance to ride a Kalex-KTM machine in next year’s Moto3 championship before moving on a two-year contract to Moto2.

When talks initially commenced on the eve of the final round in Valencia earlier this month, Marc VDS offered to expand its Moto2 effort to a three-rider squad, with Vinales joining British rider Redding and Finn Mika Kallio in 2013 on a Kalex chassis.

Vinales though made it clear he wanted to remain in Moto3 to try and capture the 250cc four-stroke world title next year.

Having already got a last-minute spot on the 2013 Moto3 grid for highly rated Belgian teenager Livio Loi, it seemed a remote chance to secure another place on the grid for Vinales.

Marc VDS boss Michael Bartholemy did though secure a second Moto3 place but on a Kalex-KTM machine and not an official KTM entry.

Bartholemy told MCN: “He said that his future could be best in the Marc VDS team because it is one of the best in Moto2. I said to him in Valencia that I could offer him a two-year deal in Moto2 because at that stage I didn’t have a place in Moto3 for him.

“The idea was that we would have a three-rider effort with Scott, Mika and Maverick because the place we secured in Moto3 was only for Livio and for nobody else and I couldn’t give it to another rider.

“We then had a lot of meetings and he said he wanted to have one more year in Moto3 to try and win the title and I totally understand that. That was not a problem for me so we found a way to get a place for him and for one year only we could have a second place in Moto3 for Maverick.

“So the offer then was for one year in Moto3 and two in Moto2 but in Moto3 he would have been on a Kalex-KTM bike and not an official KTM machine. The last official KTM bike was actually allocated to the Laglisse team in Valencia, but everything still looked very positive.

“But then he only wanted to make a two-year contract. The first was for Moto3 and the second for Moto2. That impacted on our whole planning because we had already put in a lot of effort on how the structure would be and all the logistics would be.”

Bartholemy said he was informed via e-mail yesterday (Sunday) that Vinales would be signing for a rival team but he said he wasn’t bitter at the rejection.

He added: “We were happy to go ahead but this can happen although it is a shame because undoubtedly he is a big rising star and it would have been good for him to join us.

“It would have been nice to have him working with us but I am as happy with our 2013 line-up as I was before we started talking with Maverick. We found everything that he asked us to do but in the end it didn’t happen.

“It is a pity because I am sure we could have given him everything he needed to win the Moto3 championship next year, even though he would not have been on the official KTM machine.

“I could have also given him a package to win in Moto2, so I am 100% sure we could not have tried any harder to convince him to join us.”

It now looks certain that Vinales will race an official KTM for the Laglisse squad and he is expected to test in Almeria tomorrow (Tuesday).

Vinales starred in one of the most controversial moments of 2012 when he walked out on his Blusens Avintia Moto3 squad on the eve of the Sepang race.

He launched a stinging attack on the Spanish-based effort before making a humbling return just a week later in Australia.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt