Maverick Vinales says he regrets leaving Suzuki for Yam …

Maverick Vinales said it was a “manifest error” to leave Suzuki to join the Yamaha Factory MotoGP team, saying he “was going crazy” for failing to get the Yamaha M1 to work consistently.

The Spaniard, the 2013 Moto3 world champion, switched to MotoGP with Suzuki after impressing in his rookie Moto2 season, spearheading the Hamamatsu brand’s return to the top flight after a hiatus.

After spending two years with Suzuki, Vinales brought the manufacturer his first MotoGP victory since 2007 with a 2016 British MotoGP victory at Silverstone and was recruited by Yamaha to replace three-time Ducati world champion Jorge Lorenzo.

Despite a promising start to life with the Japanese firm with three wins in his first five races with the team, Vinales rose to prominence for his inconsistent form over the next four and a half seasons. He left Yamaha in mid-2021 when his contract was terminated as punishment for causing “willful” damage to his motorcycle when he intentionally overdrive it in frustration with its performance.

In an interview with The Race, Vinales admits he was wrong to leave a rising Suzuki team for Yamaha in 2017, although he says it was mainly because he spent so much time struggling to get the M1 to his liking.

“I don’t want to talk too much about the past, but it is clear that I had made a mistake. In the end, we had created a very good team, but at that point the Yamaha was a winning bike and I chose to go that route. I don’t know if it was right or wrong, because in the end you make your decision.

“I just want to say nice words to them, because I have nothing wrong to say. I always said the bike was great, but we weren’t sure exactly how to get it to work because sometimes I felt unbeatable and at others I was last. I was going crazy.

Following his exit from Yamaha, Vinales signed a two-year deal with Aprilia, but joined the Italian manufacturer early towards the end of the MotoGP 2021 season when he became a free agent.

“I wanted to feel a team around me, that’s why I changed. Having all this atmosphere, this passion and especially because I think that when you go to a place where everyone is hungry it pushes you even more.

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