Maverick Vinales eyes record which eluded Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo failed to do it... but Maverick Vinales could set an impressive record today
Rossi, Japanese MotoGP
Rossi, Japanese MotoGP

MotoGP wins for three different manufacturers: It’s a feat that eluded the likes of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, but Maverick Vinales could achieve it today at the Americas MotoGP.

Aprilia's Vinales has won back-to-back sprint races in Portimao and at the Circuit of the Americas.

But the record books will require a grand prix victory before confirming him as the first rider to win in MotoGP with three manufacturers.

After a red-hot display on Friday and Saturday in Texas, Vinales will begin Sunday's grand prix from pole position and as the favourite to win.

Vinales, a grand prix winner for Suzuki (1) and Yamaha (8), has been chasing a first Aprilia victory since joining the Italian factory in mid-2021.

"It would be a dream to be the first to win with three [MotoGP] manufacturers," Vinales said upon moving to the Noale factory.

The Spaniard has got very close, leading races and finishing runner-up four times on the RS-GP, including Portimao (+0.687s), Catalunya (+0.377s to team-mate Aleix Espargaro) and Indonesia (+0.306s) last season.

Maverick Vinales, Tissot sprint race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 13 April
Maverick Vinales, Tissot sprint race, Grand Prix of the Americas, 13 April

The chase to become the first rider to claim three different ‘MotoGP’ (since 2002) wins continues in 2024, as Alex Rins also becomes eligible.

After five wins for Suzuki, Rins added a Honda victory at COTA last season during his lone injury-interrupted year at LCR.

The Spaniard has now returned to factory status in 2024 via a place at the Monster Yamaha team. The M1 didn’t win a single race last season, but then neither did the Honda RC213V in the year before Rins arrived.

Might Rins now snatch the three-peat honour away from Vinales and Miller?

“Well, for sure the target is the win,” said Rins, who won last year in Austin on a Honda.

“We want to bring Yamaha back to the top and yeah, I got the victories with Suzuki and with Honda, two different manufacturers, now I have the chance [for  three].

“Honestly, [being first to win on three bikes] is not something that is in my head always. Because we have more things to think about. But for sure I will give my maximum. I will go race by race and see which opportunities we have.”

Jack Miller then also moved into contention for the triple when he signed for Red Bull KTM at the start of last season.

The Australian had taken his first MotoGP victory on a satellite Marc VDS Honda in 2016, followed by three factory Ducati victories from 2021-2022.

“It’s an amazing thing to be considered for,” Miller said of the triple chance. “I’m excited. I really hope we can. We’ll be pushing week in, week out to make this succeed but MotoGP nowadays is no joke.

“We’ve done two of the three. Now we’re stepping on the third, so we’ll give it a crack.”

The 28-year-old claimed an early debut KTM podium at Jerez (+1.119s) but his best victory chance came at the Valencia finale, when he took over the lead after a mistake by team-mate Brad Binder… only to crash out with 9 laps to go.


Hailwood, Mamola, Lawson, Capirossi and….

Only four riders have won premier-class races (500cc/MotoGP) on three different brands of bike since the world championship began in 1949.

Mike Hailwood was the first, courtesy of 500cc victories for Norton, MV Agusta and Honda during the 1960s.

Over a decade later, Randy Mamola matched the Englishman with wins for Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha in the 1980s.

Fellow American Eddie Lawson joined the ‘three-peat’ list when, after 26 wins with Yamaha and four for Honda between 1984-1989, he took a final career win with Cagiva in 1992.

Loris Capirossi added his name to the elite group when, after a 500cc victory for Yamaha (1996) and then Honda (2000) he took Ducati to its first MotoGP win, now in the new four-stroke era, at Catalunya 2003. It was the first of Capirossi's seven wins on a Desmosedici.

But no other rider has joined the list in the last 20 years.

That includes seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi, who took a total of 79 victories with Honda and Yamaha before moving to Ducati for 2010-2011 but was unable to triumph on the Desmosedici.

Next up was Rossi's former team-mate and fellow multiple MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo, who added three Ducati victories to the 44 he had achieved at Yamaha from 2008-2016, but then also fell short of achieving the 'triple' due to a miserable campaign at Repsol Honda in 2019.

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