Less than one week after controversially walking out on his Avintia Blusens Moto3 squad on the eve of the Sepang race, Maverick Vinales will be back in Australia this weekend after a humbling climbdown.
Vinales stunned the paddock in Malaysia when he walked out with three races remaining while he still had a mathematical chance of capturing the inaugural Moto3 world championship.
He launched a scathing attack on his team and branded them 'second division' and then flew back to Spain from Kuala Lumpur last Friday night.
With more time to reflect on his actions and more importantly more time to be warned about the consequences of his self-imposed exile by his legal team, he will be back on his FTR-Honda at Phillip Island.
The Spaniard issued a grovelling apology before embarking on the long flight to Melbourne. His statement printed on motogp.com read, “Firstly I would like to publically give my sincerely apologies to those that were harmed or affected by my behaviour in Sepang. I'm here to come forward, ask for forgiveness and take responsibility for my mistakes.
I have returned to continue fighting with my Blusens Avintia team for the runner-up spot in the championship. There are many people who deserve it. Sponsors, technicians and the fans. My hasty departure from the Malaysian GP was certainly not good. But with the tension generated by my position in the team, I fell into a state of anger and frustration that was certainly not an ideal state of mind to ride a bike in – especially ride it at the limit.
I made a mistake, because although I was not mentally prepared to ride the bike, I should not have left the Sepang circuit, or make such statements.
And so, I apologise for the harm that has been accidentally caused, to all the fans, to the members of my Blusens Avintia team, to FTR, Honda, the championship promoters, and especially the sponsors of team (Blusens, Avintia, Repsol, Pacha and other partner companies) and personal sponsors (Alpinestars, Airoh, Wild Wolf, J. Costa etc.) that have both supported us, and without which I would not have achieved the successes to date.
I return with the aim to finish the season and regain second place in the overall standings, and for that, I will focus solely on sporting issues and work with my technicians to find the best set-up of the bike. Finally, I want to express my strong desire to amicably resolve all the problems with the team, and to be able to concentrate on riding, which is what I really like."