Maverick Vinales to miss US MotoGP at COTA following death of cousin

Maverick Vinales to sit out this weekend's return to Stateside for the 2021 US Grand Prix at COTA following the death of his cousin Dean Berta Vinales

Maverick Vinales - Aprilia Racing

Maverick Vinales will sit out this weekend’s US MotoGP round to be held at the Circuit of The Americas in the wake of his cousin Dean Berta Vinales’ death during a WorldSSP 300 round in Jerez.

Dean Berta Vinales, 15, suffered fatal head injuries in a multi-bike collision during the first WorldSSP 300 race last weekend.

The youngster was competing in his first season of the novice supporting class to the WorldSBK Championship - where Maverick’s brother Isaac Vinales competes - as part of the Vinales Racing Team, run by the brothers’ father Angel Vinales.

After attending a moment of reflection in Jerez the following day, it has now been confirmed Maverick - who switched from Yamaha to Aprilia from Round 13 - won’t travel to the US for the latest MotoGP round in Texas.

“Maverick Vinales will not be on the starting grid for the GP of the Americas scheduled this weekend on the circuit in Austin, Texas.

“Less than a week has passed since the accident involving Dean Berta Viñales, Maverick’s young cousin, which is not enough time to regain the serenity needed to race. 

“Maverick, with the full and unconditional support of Aprilia Racing, has therefore decided to take a break on his journey of getting to know the bike and team from Noale.

“The entire Aprilia Racing family supports this decision and stands with Maverick and his loved ones. There will be other times and other rounds to resume the promising journey begun together. A journey that must be entirely respectful of the people involved and their feelings.”