MotoGP mechanic sacked over fake COVID test

One of Esponsorama Racing’s bikes

Esponsorama Racing has sacked a mechanic who faked a COVID-19 test result in order to enter the paddock at this weekend’s Emilia Romagna MotoGP round.

The mechanic in question took the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test earlier this week in Barcelona, MotoGP owner Dorna Sports and the International Road Racing Teams Association (IRTA) credited for picking up the forgery.

He was suspended from the paddock for the balance of the season by IRTA, but has been cut loose by Esponsorama anyway.

“From Avintia Esponsorama Racing we show our total conformity with all the measures taken by Dorna and IRTA that, as well as our team policy and code of conduct to which all its members adhere, including mechanics, technicians, family members, sponsors, or any other person close to the team, we are obliged to take specific disciplinary measures and close all relations with our team member, who yesterday, thanks to the great work being done by Dorna and IRTA, unsuccessfully falsified a PCR test to get the access to the paddock of the Misano circuit for the next grand prix,” read a team statement.

“Being the team indirectly responsible for assuming all the costs derived from the exceptional measures by the COVID-19 protocols to all its workers, with this type of actions we are aware that they have wanted to obtain their own benefit putting at risk the rest of the people who make up the team and the championship.

“These behaviours not only damage the image of the team, but also the rest of the paddock and the championship as a whole.

“We would like to clarify that it is the responsibility of each team member to enter their access and PCR test for the organisation, on an online platform for each circuit according to the guidelines that, for COVID-19 reasons, are currently in force for access to the paddock.

“Avintia Esponsorama Racing would like to apologise and thank Dorna and IRTA for all the efforts made to keep everyone in the MotoGP paddock safe, allowing the championship to run properly.”

Esponsorama has three rounds to go as a MotoGP team before it is effectively replaced by Valentino Rossi’s Team VR46 in 2022.

It currently fields the VR46-backed entry of Luca Marini and another Ducati for Enea Bastianini.

The latter bagged a maiden podium last time the field graced Misano, in September, with practice for another event at that circuit kicking off on Friday evening (AEDT).

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