Rossi to miss Aragon MotoGP after positive COVID-19 test
By James Pavey
Friday 16th October, 2020 - 8:41am
Valentino Rossi will miss this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix after the MotoGP veteran tested positive for COVID-19.
The factory Yamaha rider became the first MotoGP competitor to test positive for the virus, and will likely miss next week’s Teruel Grand Prix, which will also be held at the Spanish Aragon circuit.
Since the season resumed in July, MotoGP has been operating under strict guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus amid the ongoing pandemic.
However, several cases have been recorded in the paddock, with Moto2 rider Jorge Martin forced to miss the Misano double-header after he contracted the virus.
The Rossi news comes just a week after six members of the Yamaha squad tested positive for the virus and were forced to stay in Andorra.
Yamaha has yet to announce plans to host a stand-in rider, although the door remains open for test rider and former world champion Jorge Lorenzo to make a return.
Rossi posted to social media ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix, stating he woke up feeling unwell at Aragon.
The seven-time premier class world champion explained a first test came back negative, before a second test returned a positive result, forcing the 41-year-old to head into self-isolation and out of this weekend’s event.
“Unfortunately this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good,” Rossi wrote.
“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.”
Yamaha team boss boss Lin Jarvis added: “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.
“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.”