Yamaha names Rossi's standby for European GP

Yamaha has named World Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff as Valentino Rossi’s standby replacement for the MotoGP European Grand Prix, after the latter failed a recent COVID-19 test.

Yamaha names Rossi's standby for European GP

Rossi was forced to miss the Aragon double-header last month after testing positive for COVID-19 following the French GP.

Yamaha has revealed Rossi underwent a COVID test on Tuesday, which returned a positive result, and will undergo another one on Wednesday.

Should this one return a negative result, Rossi will have enough time to undergo a second PCR test and fly to Valencia should that one also come up negative.

However, should Rossi be declared unfit, Yamaha will put American WSBK rider Gerloff in his place for this weekend’s European GP.

Gerloff – a former MotoAmerica Superbike rider – made his WSBK debut in 2020 with the GRT Yamaha squad and scored three podiums across the Catalunya and Estoril rounds.

Should Gerloff get the call up from Yamaha, it will mark his MotoGP debut and the first premier class race appearance for an American rider since Nicky Hayden stood in for the injured Dani Pedrosa at Honda in the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.

Yamaha not putting its official test rider Jorge Lorenzo in Rossi’s place comes off the back of the three-time MotoGP champion admitting he was in discussions with Aprilia about a test ride for 2021 – though stressed his priority was to remain with Yamaha.

Yamaha elected against putting Lorenzo the M1 for the Teruel GP, citing a desire not to overload an already-stretched race team in adapting a different rider to the bike.

However, as per MotoGP’s regulations, Yamaha was obliged to run a replacement this weekend should Rossi be unable to race.

 

Gerloff called the opportunity a "dream", stating: "I‘m so honoured that Yamaha has considered me for this opportunity. This year has already been quite the adventure, and this would be the cherry on top," Gerloff said.

"It‘s been a dream of mine to ride the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike since I started racing so many years ago, and to potentially have it happen is really exciting. 

"But I am just sorry to get this opportunity under these unfortunate circumstances for Valentino. I feel really bad for him and I hope that he recovers soon, we all miss the number 46 on track! 

"All the best to him. If I do end up riding this weekend, it will be an uphill battle not knowing the bike, tyres, brakes, etc. 

"Also, I have never been to the Valencia track before. But I‘m confident in myself and ready for the challenge! Thanks to all at Yamaha. Bring it on!"

Rossi says he returned to being fully fit after only a few days from first developing symptoms and hopes he can return a negative test today as two races on the sidelines for him was "too many".

"This virus is very complicated and serious," Rossi said. 

"I felt bad for two days, then in a few days I came back to being fully fit, at my 100%. I self-isolated at home all the time and I followed the medical advice closely. 

"It‘s a very sad and difficult situation, but that‘s the way it is. Unfortunately, yesterday (Tuesday 3 November), I had another test and it came back positive again, like all previous ones. 

"Luckily I still have two more chances to be back on track on Friday or Saturday. I am very sad because I am feeling well, and I can‘t wait to be back aboard my M1 and be reunited with my team. 

"I really hope the next PCR test result will be negative, because missing two races was already two too many."

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

The other MotoGP championship battle to get excited about

Previous article

The other MotoGP championship battle to get excited about

Next article

Podcast: What Rossi's replacement choice says about Lorenzo

Podcast: What Rossi's replacement choice says about Lorenzo
Load comments
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021
Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP Prime

Why the British GP was a triumph for MotoGP

OPINION: The 2021 British Grand Prix was a historic day for MotoGP. At the centre of it was Aleix Espargaro on the Aprilia after securing its first podium in the modern MotoGP era. It was something of a full-circle moment that highlighted just how far MotoGP has come in the last decade

MotoGP
Aug 30, 2021
Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home Prime

Why Silverstone should be regarded as MotoGP's rightful UK home

OPINION: Many of the UK’s MotoGP fans would prefer Donington Park to host the British GP beyond the expiry of Silverstone's current deal. But the track's fast, flowing circuit provides the best racing and should be regarded as its best bet for the foreseeable future

MotoGP
Aug 26, 2021
How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP Prime

How Marc Marquez is facing his toughest challenge in MotoGP

The 2020 MotoGP season was an enthralling affair, but few would argue with you if you thought the world championship was a poorer place without Marc Marquez. In an exclusive interview, he explains the challenges he's faced in his comeback from injury and what he makes of the current MotoGP landscape.

MotoGP
Aug 23, 2021