Rossi won't race in MotoGP Esports event

Seven-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi will not take part in this weekend's all-star MotoGP Esports race.

Rossi won't race in MotoGP Esports event

On Tuesday MotoGP promoters Dorna Sports announced it had set up an Esports race to be staged on the MotoGP 19 video game this coming Sunday in lieu of real world racing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The event was to feature a number of star names including reigning world champion Marc Marquez and Yamaha rider Rossi.

However, Dorna said on Wednesday that Rossi will no longer take part in the series in a press release outlining the line-up of real world riders taking part in the event.

No reason has been given for Rossi's withdrawal, with Dorna stating: "Despite earlier confirmation of participation, #46 Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha Racing) will not feature."

Dorna has announced 10 real-world MotoGP riders will take part in a six-lap race around the Italian Grand Prix venue Mugello, with a five-minute qualifying time attack taking place prior to the race.

The current factory Honda line-up of Marquez and reigning Moto2 champion brother Alex will go up against the virtual works Yamaha of Maverick Vinales and Aprilia's Aleix Espargaro.

Both factory Suzuki riders – Alex Rins and Joan Mir – will also line-up on the virtual Mugello grid, as will 2019 rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo on the Petronas SRT Yamaha.

Tech3 KTM duo Iker Lecuona and Miguel Oliveira and Pramac Ducati's Francesco Bagnaia complete the 11-rider field for the very first all-star MotoGP Esports race.

No players from MotoGP's official Esports series will take part.

Dorna said the event will be broadcast in full on Sunday 29 March at 3pm (GMT+2) on motogp.com, as well as on selected TV broadcasters across the globe – including Britain's broadcast home for MotoGP BT Sports.

The press release states the "the riders will each be playing via a private 'Race Direction' lobby, set up to invite each rider to the event – and send them the bike settings."

It is unclear if this will be a one-off event or a regular series.

Last week, Formula 1 confirmed it would be running its own Virtual Grand Prix series on each of the so-far eight coronavirus-postponed race weekends, while Motorsport Games and Veloce co-produced the #NottheBahGP.

The 2020 MotoGP season is currently on hiatus until May's Spanish Grand Prix – though it is widely expected that the Jerez race, and the following French and Italian GPs will join the Thailand, Austin and Argentine races in being postponed.

The Qatar GP, which was due to be the season-opener, has been cancelled.

shares
comments
Marquez, Rossi to do battle in MotoGP Esports race
Previous article

Marquez, Rossi to do battle in MotoGP Esports race

Next article

Verstappen dominates second pro-driver Redline Esports event

Verstappen dominates second pro-driver Redline Esports event
Load comments
How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize Prime

How an unlikely tie-up won sim racing's biggest prize

An unlikely partnership between World Endurance Championship LMP1 privateers Rebellion Racing and Williams Formula 1's highly-successful sim racing team yielded victory in the inaugural 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual. Here's how it triumphed in the biggest sim race ever staged

Esports
Jun 15, 2020
How seriously should Esports be taken? Prime

How seriously should Esports be taken?

As interest in Esports has increased during the coronavirus lockdown, the lines have become blurred between what's real and what's virtual - especially when some high-profile participants seem to be playing for laughs, says Luke Smith

Esports
Jun 10, 2020
Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice Prime

Why Abt's deception left Audi with no choice

Daniel Abt's suspension by the Audi Formula E team - and possible loss of his drive - for fielding a ringer in an Esports event could be considered an overreaction. But in a wider context, his employers had little other alternative

Esports
May 26, 2020
How Leclerc is embracing his new mission Prime

How Leclerc is embracing his new mission

The emergence of Ferrari F1 driver Charles Leclerc as a Twitch streaming star has been one of the pleasant surprises of lockdown so far. He says it is giving fans a greater insight into his nature, but that's not his primary purpose

Formula 1
Apr 23, 2020
Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit Prime

Leclerc's Virtual GP annihilation deserves great credit

The introduction of Charles Leclerc, Alex Albon, George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi to Formula 1's Virtual GP last weekend meant it was a step above the franchise's debut two weeks ago. But a dominant performance from Esports newcomer Leclerc stole the show

Esports
Apr 6, 2020
How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed Prime

How the hidden side of being fast has been exposed

The lack of real track action so far this year hasn't stop drivers from keeping their racing brains 'fresh', as former F1 star Stoffel Vandoorne suggested last weekend.

Esports
Apr 2, 2020
Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now Prime

Why entertainment isn't Esports greatest virtue right now

MotoGP's virtual #StayAtHomeGP was a sad reminder of some of the storylines that could be unfolding had the real-life season not been delayed indefinitely by the coronavirus pandemic. While we can bemoan Esports as being a poor relation of the real thing, it has an even more important function to perform

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2020
F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable Prime

F1’s pantomime Virtual GP is fun but unsustainable

F1 Esports' inaugural Virtual Grand Prix last weekend provided brilliant entertainment to those tuning in to watch a mix of F1 drivers and celebrities battle on track, but was a missed opportunity for marketing its own Esports stars. A change of approach is needed if it is to successfully fill the void until the resumption of proper racing

Esports
Mar 24, 2020