Maverick Vinales teams up with ex-Rossi crew chief

Vinales began working with Garcia in 2019 after parting ways with ex-Jorge Lorenzo crew chief Ramon Forcada at the end of the 2018 season following a drop in form.

Forcada became Franco Morbidelli’s crew chief, while Garcia’s arrival at the Vinales camp revived a relationship that led to the 2013 Moto3 World Championship.

While the change initially proved positive and brought a sense of calm to Vinales’ approach to Garcia, the Spaniard has decided to part ways with him after a difficult run in 2021 since winning the season opening Grand Prix of Qatar .

Starting with the Catalonia GP this weekend, Vinales’ new Crew Chief will be Galbusera, who was Rossi’s Crew Chief at Yamaha from 2014 to 2019 and most recently joined Cal Crutchlow on the Yamaha test team in 2020.

Yamaha didn’t provide many details about the Garcia and Vinales split other than that it was a “mutual decision”.

“Esteban joined our team in 2019,” said Yamaha team principal Massimo Meregalli.

“He and Maverick had worked together back in 2013 and won the Moto3 World Championship that year.

“We are very grateful to Esteban for his dedication and passion during our time together, which resulted in eleven podiums for Maverick, including four wins, three second places and four third places.

“Saying goodbye to one of our crew members is always a sad occasion, but it was a mutual decision based on what is best for both sides. We wish Esteban all the best for the future. “

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Vinales has not come close to the podium since winning on the opening night of the championship in 2021. He finished fifth in the Doha GP, 11th in Portugal, seventh in Spain, 10th in France and eighth in the Italian GP.

This is in stark contrast to teammate Fabio Quartararo’s form, where the French won the Doha, Portugal and Italy GPs and only lost victory in Spain to an arm pump problem that brought him back to 13th place.

Quartararo is now leading the championship with 24 points, while Vinales is sixth, 41 points behind him.

It is unclear at this point how Galbusera’s return to the racing team full-time will affect Crutchlow on the test team.