Valentino Rossi became the first MotoGP rider to test positive for Covid-19 as he will be missing in this weekend’s Aragon MotoGP and most probably next week’s Teruel GP.
This comes as MotoGP has been operating under very tight restrictions to tame the spread of Covid-19, however several cases from the paddock members have been reported including Moto2 rider Jorge Martin who had to miss the double header races at Misano last month.
Through his Instagram handle, Valentino Rossi said that he was not feeling well as he was waking up at Aragon and immediately underwent a test for Covid-19 which came back negative. However, a second test turned out to be positive which means that he will be missing in action at the Aragon MotoGP and most probably the second Aragon event next week.
The 9-time world champion had been self isolating since his arrival at Aragon and he expressed his disappointment having done his best to respect the given protocols.
“Unfortunately this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good,” Rossi posted on social media. “My bones were sore and I had a slight fever, so I immediately called the doctor who tested me twice.”
“The ‘quick PCR test’ result was negative, just like the test I underwent on Tuesday. But the second one, of which the result was sent to me at 4pm this afternoon, was unfortunately positive.”
“I am so disappointed that I will have to miss the race at Aragon. I’d like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round in Aragon to be a no go for me as well.”
“I am sad and angry because I did my best to respect the protocol, and although the test I had on Tuesday was negative, I self-isolated since my arrival from Le Mans.”
“Anyway, this is the way it is and I can’t do anything to change the situation. I will now follow the medical advice and I just hope I will be feeling well soon.”
The news comes a week after six Yamaha engineers tested positive for Covid-19 and were forced to remain in Andorra.
“This is very bad news for Valentino and very bad news for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team and for all MotoGP fans around the world. First and foremost we hope Valentino will not suffer too much in the coming days and will recover fully in the shortest time possible.”Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis added.
“It comes as a second blow for our MotoGP operations having faced the absence of Project Leader Sumi-san and five YMC engineers at the Le Mans race after one member tested positive – despite being fortunately totally asymptomatic.
“These two incidents remind us that no matter how careful you are, the risk is always present – as we see with the rising numbers of infections in Europe at this time.
“We have checked with the Italian health authorities and we have been advised that any member of our team that was in contact with Valentino up until Monday is excluded from direct risk.
“Nevertheless, we will be even more attentive from now on to minimise the chance for any future issues.”
Yamaha has made no mention of fielding a stand-in yet, though this could open the door for test rider Jorge Lorenzo to make a shock MotoGP return this season. Lorenzo was due to make an appearance at the Catalan GP before the original calendar was scrapped owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
The three-time world champion rode the 2019 M1 at Algarve last week, though hasn’t had any time on the 2020 Yamaha this year and has only completed four days on a MotoGP bike since February.