Yamaha names Rossi's standby for European GP

Yamaha has named World Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff as Valentino Rossi’s standby replacement for the MotoGP European Grand Prix, after the latter failed a recent COVID-19 test.

Yamaha names Rossi's standby for European GP

Rossi was forced to miss the Aragon double-header last month after testing positive for COVID-19 following the French GP.

Yamaha has revealed Rossi underwent a COVID test on Tuesday, which returned a positive result, and will undergo another one on Wednesday.

Should this one return a negative result, Rossi will have enough time to undergo a second PCR test and fly to Valencia should that one also come up negative.

However, should Rossi be declared unfit, Yamaha will put American WSBK rider Gerloff in his place for this weekend’s European GP.

Gerloff – a former MotoAmerica Superbike rider – made his WSBK debut in 2020 with the GRT Yamaha squad and scored three podiums across the Catalunya and Estoril rounds.

Should Gerloff get the call up from Yamaha, it will mark his MotoGP debut and the first premier class race appearance for an American rider since Nicky Hayden stood in for the injured Dani Pedrosa at Honda in the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.

Yamaha not putting its official test rider Jorge Lorenzo in Rossi’s place comes off the back of the three-time MotoGP champion admitting he was in discussions with Aprilia about a test ride for 2021 – though stressed his priority was to remain with Yamaha.

Yamaha elected against putting Lorenzo the M1 for the Teruel GP, citing a desire not to overload an already-stretched race team in adapting a different rider to the bike.

However, as per MotoGP’s regulations, Yamaha was obliged to run a replacement this weekend should Rossi be unable to race.

 

Gerloff called the opportunity a "dream", stating: "I‘m so honoured that Yamaha has considered me for this opportunity. This year has already been quite the adventure, and this would be the cherry on top," Gerloff said.

"It‘s been a dream of mine to ride the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike since I started racing so many years ago, and to potentially have it happen is really exciting. 

"But I am just sorry to get this opportunity under these unfortunate circumstances for Valentino. I feel really bad for him and I hope that he recovers soon, we all miss the number 46 on track! 

"All the best to him. If I do end up riding this weekend, it will be an uphill battle not knowing the bike, tyres, brakes, etc. 

"Also, I have never been to the Valencia track before. But I‘m confident in myself and ready for the challenge! Thanks to all at Yamaha. Bring it on!"

Rossi says he returned to being fully fit after only a few days from first developing symptoms and hopes he can return a negative test today as two races on the sidelines for him was "too many".

"This virus is very complicated and serious," Rossi said. 

"I felt bad for two days, then in a few days I came back to being fully fit, at my 100%. I self-isolated at home all the time and I followed the medical advice closely. 

"It‘s a very sad and difficult situation, but that‘s the way it is. Unfortunately, yesterday (Tuesday 3 November), I had another test and it came back positive again, like all previous ones. 

"Luckily I still have two more chances to be back on track on Friday or Saturday. I am very sad because I am feeling well, and I can‘t wait to be back aboard my M1 and be reunited with my team. 

"I really hope the next PCR test result will be negative, because missing two races was already two too many."

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments

Related video

The other MotoGP championship battle to get excited about

Previous article

The other MotoGP championship battle to get excited about

Next article

Podcast: What Rossi's replacement choice says about Lorenzo

Podcast: What Rossi's replacement choice says about Lorenzo
Load comments
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

MotoGP
Oct 19, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021