Viñales was born in Figueres, Spain, on January 12th, 1995. He began racing in minimotos at just three years of age before moving onto motocross. In 2002 his passion for speed brought him to circuit racing in 2002. He competed in the Catalonian 50cc Championship and followed it up with several successful seasons in the 70cc “metrakit” bikes.
Viñales got hold of the Catalonian 125cc Champion Title in 2007, successfully defended his crown in 2008 and also won the Mediterranean Trophy. In 2008 he also competed at selected events in the German IDM 125GP Championship for RZT Racing aboard an Aprilia RS 125 R, achieving a best result of seventh. In 2009, he moved up to the CEV Buckler 125GP series, partnering with Miguel Oliveira in the Blusens-BQR team. Viñales secured the Rookie of the Year award, finishing the season as the runner-up to Alberto Moncayo in the championship standings by just four points. Viñales claimed four successive podiums during the season.
In 2010, Viñales and Oliveira joined different Blusens’ teams and battled it out for the championship title. Despite winning two races to Oliveira’s four, Viñales won the title by two points, thanks to finishing on the podium at all seven races of the season. The European Championship Title was also decided between the two riders and again it was Viñales who came out on top.
The Spaniard moved to the 125cc World Championship ahead of the 2011 season with the SuperMartxé VIP team. He impressed during pre-season testing at Valencia and finished ninth on his Grand Prix début in Qatar.
After retiring at Jerez due to a technical issue, Viñales finished fourth at Estoril, narrowly missing out on a podium to Johann Zarco in a photo finish, with the margin between the pair being 0.002 seconds. Two weeks later at Le Mans, Viñales took his first front-row grid start with a third place and his first victory by 0.048 seconds at the age of 16 years, 123 days. This incredible performance made him the third-youngest rider to win a Grand Prix race, behind Scott Redding and Marco Melandri. Securing three further victories that same season, Viñales finished his rookie season in third place in the championship rankings and claimed the Rookie of the Year award.
He went into the 2012 season as title favorite in the newly formed Moto3 championship. He won five races on the Blusens Avintia FTR Honda early on in the season, but his lack of consistency, some misfortunes and a dispute with his team resulted in a missed race in Malaysia, allowing Cortese to win the title and Luis Salom to take second.
He moved to Team Calvo for 2013 alongside Ana Carrasco. He won his first two races with Team Calvo back-to-back at the Spanish and French Grands Prix. He was very competitive, fighting at the front of the field. Viñales, Rins and Salom went into the final round with a gap of five points across all of them. The championship was decided in Valencia by a battle between Rins and Viñales. In the end Viñales took the race victory and Moto3 World Championship by a twelve-point margin.
The Moto3 World Champion then signed contract with Pons Racing, joining former title rival Luis Salom. Viñales didn’t have to wait long for his first intermediate class victory, which came at the Circuit of the Americas on 13 April 2014. He ultimately finished the season in third place with four wins and nine podiums, earning himself the Rookie of the Year award.
In September 2014, it was announced that Viñales would move up to the premier class for the 2015 season, riding for the factory Suzuki team on their return to MotoGP.
Despite being a rookie and riding for a factory that was returning to MotoGP, Viñales had a very good MotoGP season. Scoring points in 16 out of 18 races in a competitive field and challenging circumstances, Viñales proved to be a notable rider. He finished the season in 12th place, winning again the Rookie of the Year award.
In 2016 Viñales shone. At the fifth Grand Prix of the season he finished third for his first MotoGP podium in France and it wasn’t before long that he got to step on the top of the rostrum. At the twelfth race, the British Grand Prix, he registered his first ever MotoGP win. He finished the season strong with two more third places in Japan and on Phillip Island, to secure fourth place in championship. His talent and strong mentality were undeniable and did not go unnoticed by Yamaha, who signed Viñales for the 2017 and 2018 season with the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team.
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