Vinales without MotoGP crew chief until Qatar race day

Maverick Vinales has confirmed he will be without his MotoGP crew chief until at least Sunday of the Qatar Grand Prix due to a reactive COVID-19 test result.

Vinales without MotoGP crew chief until Qatar race day

Rumours emerged earlier in the week on the run up to the opening round of the 2021 MotoGP season that Vinales’ Yamaha crew chief Esteban Garcia had tested positive for COVID-19.

Vinales confirmed Garcia had an initial test which proved reactive – meaning the result didn’t count – but tested negative on Wednesday.

Despite this, Garcia will have to remain in quarantine in his hotel until Saturday, leaving Vinales without a crew chief at the track until race day.

Read Also:

However, the eight-time MotoGP race winner is relaxed about the situation and is confident of Garcia being able to support his side of the garage from his hotel during Friday and Saturday.

“No, not really,” Vinales replied when asked by Motorsport.com if the rumours about his crew chief testing positive for COVID-19 were true.

“Esteban wasn’t caught positive or negative, I think the correct name is reactive.

“So, he’s been tested yesterday, he’s negative. But he needs to remain in this hotel for COVID until Saturday.

“So, he will come 28th, for the race time, but anyway we are all connected. So, for us it’s not a problem. We know Esteban will support us in the hotel.

“At least we did a lot of laps in the test, we don’t have much to test. e just need to run, to understand many things on the track, how to be faster, how to be fast with a full tank.

“There’s not many things to do. It’s shame, obviously, because we don’t have all of the team.

“But at least we are very calm that it’s negative, so the rest of the team is also ok.”

The factory Yamaha squad was one of the team affected on a number of occasions last year by COVID-19, with several members of the technical team and members of Vinales’ crew missing races in the second half of the season due to the virus.

Vinales’ former team-mate Maverick Vinales also missed two races in 2021 when he tested positive for COVID-19 following the French GP.

Incidences of COVID infection within the MotoGP paddock should hopefully decrease significantly in coming races as both doses of the COVID vaccine have been offered – and largely taken up – to the paddock by the Qatari authorities.

LCR Honda's Alex Marquez is also in the same situation as Vinales, after his crew chief Christophe Bourguignon returned a reactive COVID test earlier this week.

"Unfortunately we have one guy in quarantine, because he was reactive, negative today," Marquez told motogp.com on Thursday in Qatar.

"It's 'Beefy', my crew chief, but we are in contact with him directly, so will not be a problem.

"Just wishing for him that he can come and join the first GP of the season. He's so passionate, he's working 24 hours in the hotel.

"So, this is not a problem, we have already all the plans on the computers. We have a computer in the box, 24 hours we can communicate with him."

shares
comments

Related video

Bradl to replace recovering Marquez in Qatar MotoGP races

Previous article

Bradl to replace recovering Marquez in Qatar MotoGP races

Next article

Morbidelli carrying “a great weight” as a MotoGP title contender

Morbidelli carrying “a great weight” as a MotoGP title contender
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Event Qatar GP
Drivers Maverick Viñales
Author Lewis Duncan
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021