The next VR46? Vinales family launches youth platform, enters WorldSSP 300

With Maverick in MotoGP and Isaac in WorldSBK, the Vinales name moves into WorldSSP 300 with the launch of its own youth-promoting team

Vinales Racing Team, Maverick Vinales

Well-funded rider academy platforms championed by figures at the height of their discipline seems to be becoming an increasingly popular potential post-retirement nest egg with Maverick Vinales the latest to join the movement with his own WorldSSP 300 team.

The Yamaha MotoGP rider is currently preparing for his seventh season in the top flight so responsibility for the Vinales Racing Team will fall to his father Angel Vinales.

While Spain is certainly not short of high profile motorcycling talent - both in MotoGP and coming up through the ranks - this new endeavour is relatively unique in that it has chosen to root itself in the WorldSBK-supporting WorldSSP 300 series, rather than the GP paddock.

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Indeed, with the Spanish junior formula programme largely focused on prototype racing to enable a more seamless transition to the Moto3 World Championship, there have been relatively few top level Spanish WorldSBK riders, at least compared with the UK and Italy.

Then again, it isn’t an entire coincidence the Vinales Racing Team will ply its trade in this paddock since 2021 will see Maverick’s brother, Issac Vinales, make his WorldSBK debut on the Orelac Kawasaki.

No riders have been announced yet but - unsurprisingly - the machinery will come from Yamaha with a fleet of YZF-R3, while the livery plays on Vinales’ ‘Top Gun’ themed helmet and branding.

"I am very excited,” said Angel Vinales. “For a long time it has been in my head to start a project like this, have a team of my own and give young drivers the opportunity to show their talent. 

“I feel very satisfied with having achieved it and I am looking forward to the start of the 2021 season to see all the work we have been doing reflected on the track. I appreciate all the support and help of the people who have collaborated to make my dream come true."