The Spaniard, currently second in the championship, has complained all season about a lack of power from his FTR Honda but having won more races than anyone else this year it was clear that he was still competitive.
His main issue has been that he has lacked the consistency of champion elect Sandro Cortese. The German has been on the rostrum in all but two races this year and has, finally, mated his speed with the consistency required to win a championship.
“We won’t take part in the race as the team hasn’t complied with the agreement we had. Since halfway through the season, they haven’t done all they could.”
Having signed a new contract in the month to race for the squad for the next two years this move will raise a lot of questions about the timing of the decision.
With both Cortese and Danny Kent leaving for Moto2 in 2013 the Ajo KTM squad are looking for a rider to pair with Luis Salom. A seat in the team would be the ideal scenario for Vinales as it would provide him with the KTM engine that his Honda has chased all season in the power stakes.
Ajo would surely love to have Vinales onboard for next season too in all Spanish lineup that would surely be able to bring in hefty sponsorship to the team.
The question now has to be whether or not Ajo will be in a position to buy out Vinales contract or whether Avintia Blusens will hold him over a barrel with their signed agreement.
Team manager, Ricard Jové, was clearly hurt by Vinales decision with the rider having spent the last three seasons with the team in the Spanish and World championships:
“This works in reverse as well as you have a contract – you work, do the season, and then we can discuss, away from the media limelight, if we terminate the deal,” said Jové. “But now, you can’t stop from one day to the next as you have commitments with the sponsors, with the mechanics, the years spent with the team in his career. We should not be nothing to him.
“Next year, he’s already been informed of everything that would be available or would not have been. And I repeat that this is simply an error airing these views that you could discuss, try to fix, and within a few hours something could have changed. We do not understand his decision and we feel bad for the team; I think it’s wrong by the sponsors and the people who are contributing to his career.”
While there are many questions looking for answers to this saga it is clear that there is potential for it run for a considerable time before Vinales’ future is confirmed.