Maverick Viñales’ Styrian motorcycle Grand Prix ended in a terrifying fashion at the weekend, with the Monster Energy Yamaha rider forced to abandon his bike at high speeds following a loss of front brake pressure.
A graphic on MotoGP’s replay shows that on lap 17 the Spaniard dismounted at 223kmh, which is nearly 140mph. Thankfully, he didn’t suffer any serious injuries. The bike, meanwhile, sailed into the air fence of the Red Bull Ring’s Turn 1, quickly catching fire.
Viñales later said he realised as early as the third lap that something wasn’t quite right with his brakes, and by lap 10 he was dropping down the order due to these issues. Suzuki’s Alex Rins criticised Viñales for staying out, as reported by Autosport.
“Maverick had already known for a few laps that he had run out of brakes and that is why he was raising his hand, it is normal that he would have entered the pits earlier,” he said, adding, “I don’t understand why he had to continue in the race”. Rins concluding that “We are surely going to discuss it at the next meeting of the Safety Commission.”
Several Yamaha riders experienced problems with overheating brakes at the Austrian Grand Prix, which was also held at the Red Bull Ring. In response, Brembo brought improved calipers and pads for the Styrian GP, which Viñales elected not to use since he hadn’t encountered any issues with the standard setup.