Takaaki Nakagami could still compete in this weekend’s Termas de Rio Hondo race after a negative Covid test, despite the cancellation of Friday practice for the Argentina MotoGP.
Due to several positive Covid-19 tests before departing Japan, the Japanese regrettably revealed he will be forced to miss the event on Thursday.
However, Nakagami has now tested negative, allowing him to go to Argentina in time for the track action to resume on Saturday.
Despite the lack of symptoms, Nakagami has continued to test every two days since his initial positive result, returning multiple negative results.
Due to continued freight delays, Nakagami is presently on a plane to Termas de Rio Honda and will be in the paddock on Saturday for the start of a frantic day of racing.
“Early this week before flying to Argentina, Taka tested positive, but with high CT value which indicates low viral charge and he was asymptomatic,” explained team boss Lucio Cecchinello.
“It was decided, together with our medical consultant, to repeat the test every couple of days.”
“Nakagami has now returned a number of negative tests and will be arriving to the paddock on Saturday morning in time for the beginning of track action as agreed with IRTA and Dorna.”
Meanwhile, a further change to the already extensively changed Saturday schedule appears to be the cancellation of the 30-minute MotoGP FP3 in favor of lengthier one-hour FP1 and FP2 sessions, followed by qualifying.
The Argentina Grand Prix was canceled on Friday due to a mechanical issue with a cargo plane bringing freight from Indonesia to Termas de Rio Hondo, which was stranded in Kenya on Wednesday.
The flight took off from Mombasa this morning after an engine valve issue was resolved, and is scheduled to land in Argentina later tonight.
However, with Gresini Racing and VR46 still waiting for all of their equipment, including their motorcycles, and other teams still waiting for parts, it was decided to change the weekend schedule once more.
MotoGP track action for Saturday has been reduced to two hour-long practice sessions instead of 45 minutes, and will begin at 12:35 p.m. local time (4:35 p.m. BST), with qualifying at 5:05 p.m. local time (9:05pm BST).
The MotoGP warm-up practice will now last 40 minutes instead of 20 minutes on Sunday, with race times staying constant.