The soap opera between Moto3 title contender Maverick Vinales and his Blusens Avintia appears to be coming to an end, as it's expected the Spaniard will sign with JHK Laglisse to ride a factory KTM in 2013.
But, of course, the move to Laglisse isn't coming without some behind-the-scenes drama. Baggage always seems to surround Vinales, who won five races and finished third in the Moto3 championship this season despite walking out on his team for a race.
British media reported that Marc VDS Racing tried to sign Vinales to a deal for the next three years, starting next season in Moto3 and in 2014 and 2015 in Moto2. But team boss Michel Bartholemy only could secure a non-factory Kalex-KTM entry for Vinales, who insisted on a full factory KTM. So the deal collapsed.
Marc VDS fielded Moto2 machines this season for Scott Redding and Mika Kallio. Bartholemy initially offered to expand his intermediate-class team to three Kalex chassis in 2013 for Redding, Kallio and Vinales, but Vinales made it clear he wanted to try to win the Moto3 championship next season before climbing to Moto2.
The Belgium-based team already hired Belgian teen Livio Loi for a Kalex-KTM Moto3 entry in 2013, and Bartholemy was able to find another Kalex-KTM for Vinales. But it wasn't enough.
Vinales walked out on Blusens Avintia before the Sepang round this season, claiming a lack of effort and direction from the team. It then was uncovered that Vinales was steamed at his personal manager and Avintia team principal, Ricard Jove, because Jove didn't make Vinales aware of offers from other teams before Vinales signed a contract extension with Avintia. Jove apparently settled on team over rider in his blatant conflict of interest.
Even though both sides made up publicly the following week when Vinales returned to Avintia at Phillip Island, it was only a matter of time before Vinales parted company with the team, presumably after a healthy exchange of cash as a contract buyout.
Vinales is expected to test a KTM for Laglisse this week at Almeira in Spain.