MotoGP Austin: Maverick Viñales withdraws from US Grand Prix

Maverick Viñales will not race at COTA this weekend
Maverick Viñales will not race at COTA this weekend

Maverick Viñales will not take part in this weekend’s United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas following the death of his cousin Dean Berta Viñales at Jerez last weekend.

Berta Viñales passed away after sustaining severe head and thoracic injuries in a multi-rider accident in the World Supersport 300 class. The 15-year-old raced for family-run Viñales Racing Team aboard a Yamaha R3.

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With only a few days having passed since his cousin’s death, Maverick has opted to withdraw from MotoGP action for the time being.

“Less than a week has passed since the accident involving Dean Berta Viñales, Maverick’s young cousin, which is not enough time to regain the serenity needed to race. Maverick, with the full and unconditional support of Aprilia Racing, has therefore decided to take a break on his journey of getting to know the bike and team from Noale,” the official Aprilia statement reads.

“The entire Aprilia Racing family supports this decision and stands with Maverick and his loved ones. There will be other times and other rounds to resume the promising journey begun together. A journey that must be entirely respectful of the people involved and their feelings.”

Maverick Viñales has raced twice for Aprilia since his sensational switch to the Italian manufacturer. The Spaniard 18th and 13th in his opening races on the RS-GP, at Aragon and Misano respectively.

At this stage it’s unknown whether Lorenzo Savadori will return to racing action in place of Viñales. Savadori has returned to his role of test rider following Viñales’ arrival at the team.

A minute of silence will be held today (September 30) at 16:15 (local time in Austin) in memory of Dean Berta Viñales.