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
Listen to this article

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
The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes Prime

The talent-outweighing ambition that will kill Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP title hopes

OPINION: For the fourth time in 2022, Francesco Bagnaia has made a costly error while battling other riders. Crashing while chasing one point at the Japanese Grand Prix has lost him eight to a struggling Fabio Quartararo. With just four rounds remaining and a history of errors in high-pressure situations, Bagnaia and Ducati need a serious rethink to stop its best opportunity of a title in 15 years slipping away

MotoGP
Sep 26, 2022
The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title Prime

The unique advantage Ducati must now use to win the 2022 MotoGP title

Ducati has littered the grid with eight strong motorcycles that has ensured it has had at least one rider stand on the podium at every grand prix in 2022. The drama of the Aragon Grand Prix has thrust Francesco Bagnaia well and truly into title contention with five races to go, and Ducati must now consider utilising a unique strength it has so far been reticent to embrace

MotoGP
Sep 19, 2022
How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects Prime

How KTM failed one of its brightest MotoGP prospects

Reigning Moto2 champion Remy Gardner’s career has been derailed by KTM’s decision not to retain him at Tech3 for 2023. Amid difficult circumstances, Gardner hasn’t shamed himself. But KTM’s apparent reasoning for dropping him raises questions about its handling of its young riders and the unrealistic expectations placed on them

MotoGP
Sep 6, 2022
Why it won't just be Marquez's speed that saves Honda in MotoGP Prime

Why it won't just be Marquez's speed that saves Honda in MotoGP

OPINION: Honda is in the midst of a second winless season in the space of three years. The absence of the injured Marc Marquez has been a major contributing factor, but HRC’s inability to alter its own approach has seen it slide down the order. Marquez returned to the MotoGP paddock in Austria and provided a rallying cry Honda needed to hear.

MotoGP
Aug 22, 2022
The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him Prime

The signs Quartararo’s 2022 MotoGP title is slipping away from him

Prior to the summer break, the 2022 MotoGP title looked like it was Fabio Quartararo’s to lose. But a crash at Assen and the consequential penalty he had to serve last weekend at Silverstone stopped him from capitalising on a main rival’s injury woes, while a resurgence from another, plus the rise of a former teammate, look set to conspire against the Yamaha rider.

MotoGP
Aug 8, 2022
Why Andrea Dovizioso is leaving MotoGP at the right time Prime

Why Andrea Dovizioso is leaving MotoGP at the right time

On the eve of the British Grand Prix, Andrea Dovizioso announced that he will be retiring from MotoGP after September’s San Marino GP. The timing of his departure raised eyebrows, but his reasoning remains sensible and what has happened this year should not diminish a hard-built legacy.

MotoGP
Aug 6, 2022
Why Alex Rins feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge Prime

Why Alex Rins feels he deserves MotoGP's toughest challenge

Alex Rins’ MotoGP future was plunged into sudden doubt when Suzuki elected to quit the series at the end of 2022. Securing a deal with Honda to join LCR, he will now tread a path that many have fallen off from. But it was a move he felt his status deserved, and it’s a challenge – he tells Motorsport.com - he faces with his eyes wide open…

MotoGP
Jul 27, 2022
How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature Prime

How Formula 1 has driven MotoGP's changing nature

The hiring of technicians from Formula 1 has clearly contributed to a recent change in the MotoGP landscape, with the role of engineers gaining greater significance relative to the riders. Here's how this shift has come about.

MotoGP
Jul 19, 2022