Yamaha won’t replace Rossi for second Aragon MotoGP race

Yamaha has confirmed it will not field a replacement for Valentino Rossi in next weekend’s MotoGP Teruel Grand Prix, ending speculation of a potential Jorge Lorenzo comeback.

Yamaha won’t replace Rossi for second Aragon MotoGP race

Nine-time grand prix world champion Rossi tested positive for COVID-19 at his home in Tavullia, Italy on Thursday and was ruled out of this weekend’s Aragon GP.

Due to the Italian Government’s rule regarding COVID-19, any person who tests positive for the virus must observe a 10-day quarantine period from the moment they receive their positive PCR result.

With the second Aragon GP weekend just five days away, Rossi will not be back in action until November’s European Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit near Valencia.

Rossi’s absence lead to speculation three-time MotoGP world champion Lorenzo could make a surprise comeback to racing next weekend in the Teruel GP.

After retiring from racing at the end of last year, Lorenzo returned to Yamaha as its official test rider.

However, Lorenzo has completed just four days of running on the M1 this year in February at Sepang and last week at the Algarve track familiarisation.

All of his outings have been on 2019 Yamaha, with his best lap in the Algarve test some four seconds slower than the Aprilia of Aleix Espargaro.

MotoGP’s rules on replacement riders state: “Teams must make every reasonable effort to provide a qualified substitute rider to fulfil their entry obligations within 10 days of withdrawal.”

As the 10-day period has not passed, Yamaha is not obliged to field a replacement, but can also reasonably argue that it has no qualified substitute.

Yamaha also explained its decision was motivated by a desire not to add additional pressure on its reduced staff numbers at events as a result of MotoGP’s COVID-19 protocols to “adapt a new rider” to the bike.

As a result, Maverick Vinales – who starts today’s Aragon GP from second – will be Yamaha’s only factory team representative next weekend.

Rossi’s COVID-19 diagnosis comes a week after six members of Yamaha’s technical staff, including project leader Takahiro Sumi, were placed in quarantine ahead of the French GP after one of them tested positive for the virus.

Tony Arbolino has been forced to miss this weekend’s Aragon Moto3 GP despite testing negative for COVID-19 as he was sat close to someone on a plane who did have the virus.

Arbolino and Rossi follow Moto2 frontrunner Jorge Martin in missing races due to COVID-19, after the Ajo KTM rider was forced out of the Misano double-header after testing positive. 

shares
comments

Related video

Suzuki’s Mir expects a “great fight” with Yamahas in Aragon GP

Previous article

Suzuki’s Mir expects a “great fight” with Yamahas in Aragon GP

Next article

Aragon MotoGP: Rins wins from Marquez, disaster for Quartararo

Aragon MotoGP: Rins wins from Marquez, disaster for Quartararo
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Teams Yamaha Factory Racing
Author Lewis Duncan
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Prime

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout.

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021