Factory Movistar Yamaha Team #25 Spanish
2017 Third in the MotoGP World Championship
Maverick Viñales Ruiz born 12 January 1995 in Figueres, Alt Emporda, is a MotoGP racer from Catalonia region of Spain and former Moto3 world champion, taking the title in 2013. In 2015 he won the best rookie award in the MotoGP class.
Viñales began competitive racing at the age of three in minimotos before moving onto motocross and eventually to circuit racing in 2002, competing in the Catalan 50cc Championship, 70cc "metrakit" bikes.
In 2007 and 2008, he became champion of the Catalan 125cc Championship as well as winning the Mediterranean Trophy. Also in 2008, he competed at some events in the German IDM 125GP Championship for RZT Racing on an Aprilia RS 125 R. 2009 He raced in the CEV Buckler 125GP series, with the Blusens-BQR team, partnering Miguel Oliveira. Viñales finished the season as Rookie of the Year as he finished as runner-up to Alberto Moncayo, by just four points. In 2010, Viñales and Oliveira battled it out for the championship title Viñales took the title by just two points. The single race for the 2010 European Championship title was also taking place at Viñales's winning circuit Albacete where he narrowly took his third victory of the year.
125cc/Moto3 World Championship
Viñales moved into the 125cc World Championship for the 2011 season, partnering Sergio Gadea. Viñales finished ninth in his Grand Prix debut in Qatar. At Le Mans, Viñales had a race-long battle with championship leader Nicolas Terol. Terol made a mistake at the penultimate corner and Viñales cut inside him and took the victory by 0.048 seconds. His victory, at the age of 16 years, 123 days, made him the third-youngest rider to win a Grand Prix race behind Scott Redding and Marco Melandri. Three further victories during the season enabled Viñales to finish his rookie season in third place in the championship rankings and he won the Rookie of the Year award.
Viñales was the 2012 season as title favourite in the newly formed Moto3 championship. He won five races early on in the season, but a lack of consistency with several crashes meant that he was not able to keep up with Sandro Cortese. Going into Malaysia still with a slim chance of winning the title, he shocked everyone when he angrily left his team and flew back home, withdrawing from the race. Cortese won the race and the title. Viñales later stated that he had not been informed of offers from other Moto3 teams, that the team refused to move him up into Moto2 and instead made him sign an extension to his contract into 2014 and that he was unable to win with them as it was a "second division team".
Viñales eventually apologized and returned to the team for the final two races of the season, securing third in the standings, but losing the runner-up spot to Salom.
Maverick Viñales moved to Team Calvo for 2013, riding alongside Ana Carrasco. He won his first two races. Then back to back at round three, the Spanish, and four French Grand Prix. In the last race of the season, Viñales narrowly took the victory and Moto3 World Championship with Rins finishing runner-up.
Moto2 World Championship
Viñales signed a two-year contract with Pons Racing. He joined former title rival Luis Salom in the team. He took his first intermediate class victory at the Circuit of the Americas on 13 April 2014. He ultimately finished the season in third place in the riders' championship with four wins and nine podiums. He also won the Rookie of the Year title.
Viñales moved up to the MotoGP class for the 2015 season, riding for the Factory Suzuki team on their return to the class. He partnered Aleix Espargaró at the team.
Viñales had a decent debut season with the factory Suzuki team. Viñales finished 16 out of 18 races, scoring six Top 10 results along the way, once again showing consistency as his strength. He ended the season in 12th place, winning the Rookie of the Year title.
The 2016 season saw almost immediate success for Viñales and the factory Suzuki team. Viñales took his first MotoGP podium with third place in France. Then his first ever MotoGP win at the British Grand Prix and Suzuki's first win since Chris Vermeulen's win at the French Grad Prix in 2007, moving him to 4th place in the championship. After Jorge Lorenzo announced his move to the Ducati team, Viñales was signed to replace him at the factory Yamaha team in 2017 and 2018.
His 2017 Yamaha MotoGP campaign started with victories in Qatar and Argentina, making him the first rider to win on debut for Yamaha since Valentino Rossi in 2004 and the first rider to win on debut for any team since 2011.
Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas at the Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, USA. In the third race Maverick Viñales suffered his first defeat as a Yamaha rider after falling from fourth, early in the race.
In the Gran Premio Red Bull De Espana the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez, Spain, Maverick Viñales started from fourth place but struggled for pace, finding it hard to control his Yamaha and came home in sixth position.
In the Grand Prix De France at Le Mans France, Maverick Viñales started from pole position. Johann Zarco took the lead and headed Viñales, Rossi and Marc Márquez, with the Tech 3 rider remaining at the front for the opening seven laps. Then Viñales took the lead from Zarco and Rossi in second. Then Viñales led for most of the race until Rossi got by him. Then the race leader, Valentino Rossi went wide on the final lap, with just three turns remaining, the veteran slid off, leaving Viñales to take his third victory as Johann Zarco took second. Viñales moved back to lead the championship again.
At the Gran Premio D'Italia Mugello, in Italy, Factory Ducati Team's Andrea Dovizioso claimed the Italian Grand Prix win. "Desmo Dovi" took the Mugello MotoGP victory by over a second ahead of Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Viñales. Pole man, Viñales took the lead on the fourth lap, Dovizioso chased Viñales, and made the pass with nine laps to go. Viñales crossed the line 1.281 seconds behind.
In Spain, at the Gran Premiro Monster Energy De Catalunya Barcelona, Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso won his second consecutive MotoGP race to win after starting from seventh place. The world championship leader Maverick Viñales could only get 10th as he struggled with his Yamaha.
The MotoGP race at Assen, Netherlands, Maverick Viñales saw his title advantage slashed following a spill in the tricky conditions at the final chicane as he battled inside the top five.
Viñales, started from the fourth row at the Sachsenring in Germany. He made up many places, making passes on Aleix Espargaró and Petrucci on lap 15 to go sixth. He took Dovizioso at the end of the 19th lap. Viñales took his Yamaha team-mate Rossi at the last but one corner on the next lap to take fourth.
Maverick Viñales was the best of the factory Yamahas at the Brno circuit in Czech Republic, fighting his way to third from tenth. Another podium for the Spaniard.
In Austria both the Factory Yamaha pair struggled. At the start of the race Viñales and Rossi, were both in contention but both lost ground with tyre troubles and going off track. Viñales had to settle to finish sixth behind Frenchman Johann Zarco.
Viñales was fourth on the grid at the start of the British GP at Silverstone. He got a mediocre start and passed several riders on his way to third. He caught Rossi got by him and chased after Dovi. He tried to set up a pass on the last few laps but couldn't get close enough to challenge Dovizioso. Viñales set his fastest lap on the last lap trying to catch Dovizioso who won by only 0.114 seconds. Only 0.749s separated the top three Dovizioso Viñales and Rossi.
At the San Marino MotoGP held at Misano, Italy, Maverick Viñales took the pole. But the struggling poleman could only take fourth just in front of Ducati's test rider, Michelle Pirro.
Then in Aragon, Spain, Maverick Viñales led from pole before Rossi got by him. A few laps later Viñales went wide letting both Dovizioso and Marquez get past - and the front four were able to pull away from him. Viñales, in the early laps, was having troubles getting his tyres up to temperature. He dropped out of the top five. Maverick Viñales got better as the race went on, managing to finish fourth.
Viñales had great difficulty in the wet Japanese MotoGP race at the Twin Ring Motegi circuit, with the rear spinning and traction problems on the Yamaha. He struggled to ninth place.
Viñales took second spot on the grid at Phillip Island, in Australia, for this action packed race. During the race Rossi was pushed back to third, as Zarco forced his way past, leaving a gap for Viñales to follow through. Viñales clashed with Zarco but came off worse and Zarco pushed Viñales wide letting Rossi through again.
It looked as if Zarco was going to take second. It was the master, Valentino Rossi, who managed to find his way past to finish second by millimetres, behind Marquez - all three were practically side by side over the line. Right behind the nine-time World Champion, it was Viñales only just taking third by a fraction ahead of Zarco, on his Tech 3 Yamaha.
At the Malaysian MotoGP race at the Sepang circuit, Viñales was fifth in qualifying. But Maverick Viñales had a hard race for ninth, the factory Yamahas were once again struggling in the wet, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales had excellent pace in the dry, but when the rain came, it was a different story, with Viñales finishing a difficult ninth. Rossi said, "We didn't have any grip, it is very difficult to ride the bike, also very dangerous."
Back to Europe for the final race at Valencia, Spain, Maverick Viñales struggled with his Factory Yamaha and started the race 13th on the grid. Maverick Viñales finished off a disappointing weekend in 12th place, as the winner of the opening two races concluded his season in a dismal way.
Viñales finished the season in third in the Championship with 230 points taking three wins. After, what looked like a dominant start to the season it tailed off. He says he was pleased to come third in the Championship but wants to do better in 2018.
Maverick Viñales Personal Life
He has a cousin Isaac Viñales who also races in Moto2 and did race in Moto3.
Being a rising star of a motorcycle racer, not only has he won MotoGP races but also millions of hearts through his racing and dashing looks!
Cristina Llovera is the girlfriend of Maverick Viñales.
Cristina specializes in running. She is an Olympic sprinter; she competed in the Women's 100 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
In January 2017, the Yamaha star split up from Kiara Fontanesi, Fontanesi is also an Italian motorcycle racer. They started dating in 2015.
- Roland Potter