Marquez: ‘Logical’ for Viñales to come back at next MotoGP round

Maverick Viñales. Picture: MotoGP.com

Marc Marquez believes it “the most logical thing” that Maverick Viñales will make his return with Yamaha at the next round and see out the MotoGP season.

Viñales was sensationally suspended by Monster Energy Yamaha ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix over “unexplained irregular operation of the motorcycle” that “could have potentially caused significant damage to the engine” in the Michelin Grand Prix of Styria a week earlier.

Although not explicitly stated in that announcement, it would seem that the Iwata manufacturer suspects that there was a deliberate attempt to damage the engine, something supported by onboard footage subsequently released by MotoGP.

The Spaniard himself did nothing to dispel such a theory when he apologised on the Saturday of the Austrian event, from which he had been sidelined but nevertheless attended.

Doubt remains that Viñales will ever race a Yamaha again, not just because of the suspension but also because he had already been granted a release from his two-year contract, effective the end of the current season.

While unconfirmed, he is tipped to join Aprilia in 2022, and Yamaha’s statement advised that a decision had yet to be made on his entry in future races.

Furthermore, the nine-time MotoGP race winner had said after that controversial Styrian Grand Prix that he has “no confidence” in his team due to what he perceives to be the wild inconsistencies in his package from one round to the next, and even within the same round.

It was that frustration which he cited as the reason for his behaviour when he made his apology on Italian television, and it was that mea culpa which Marquez said was “the right thing” to do.

The six-time premier class believes his compatriot, who some in the paddock make to be as or almost as talented as Marquez, should try to finish 2021 as strongly as he can.

“Last weekend’s behaviour didn’t look good to Yamaha,” said the Repsol Honda rider during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.

“He put himself in danger, but he did the right thing [apologising] and the most logical thing is that at Silverstone he will be back on track with the Yamaha, and he will finish the season.

“If I were him, I would try to finish the year as well as possible because he is very young, he has many years ahead of him and these things can hurt you in the future.”

Valentino Rossi said he “expected worse” from the footage of Viñales’ controversial riding but, having been his team-mate at the factory Yamaha team for four years before moving to SRT, surmised that there must have been more to the bombshell suspension.

Following the apology, he called for #12 to be reinstated to the squad.

“Maverick has said what he had to say, which is also the truth,” said Rossi.

“He was frustrated, but in no case did he want to break the engine.

“I think that by asking for forgiveness he has a chance to race at Silverstone, which would be the best for everyone.”

If not Viñales, then test rider Cal Crutchlow might take over the second works seat.

However, that would create a short-term issue for SRT, given Crutchlow is currently filling in for Franco Morbidelli, and the Italian is likely to miss another two rounds as he recovers from knee surgery.

Jake Dixon, who rides for the Malaysian-owned team in Moto2, is reportedly in the frame for the ride on the ‘A-Spec’ YZR-M1 at Silverstone if his British compatriot is shifted to the factory team.

The British Grand Prix takes place on August 27-29.

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