Valentino Rossi Again Tests Positive for COVID-19, Could Be Replaced by Garrett Gerloff at Valencia

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Valentino Rossi may yet be forced to miss his third race of the 2020 season, after still being unable to provide a negative PCR test for Covid-19.

The Italian tested positive for the coronavirus ahead of first round in Aragon, and was forced to miss the two races at the Motorland Aragon circuit.

Despite having fully recovered from his symptoms and feeling fit and ready to race, a PCR test for Covid-19 carried out on Tuesday came back positive. Rossi still has a couple of chances to race in Valencia, if he can provide two negative PCR tests.

He is due to have one test on Wednesday, and must have a second negative PCR test 48 hours after the first one, which would mean he would miss practice on Friday, but could arrive at the track on Saturday ready to compete.

Yamaha have chosen American rider Garrett Gerloff to replace the Italian. Gerloff made his debut in the WorldSBK series this season, racing for the GRT Yamaha team, scoring three podiums during the year.

Gerloff was chosen over Toprak Razgatlioglu, who races in the factory Pata Yamaha squad, as Razgatlioglu is a Red Bull rider, and the sponsorship would have clashed.

That was thought to be an impediment to Razgatlioglu racing for Pata Yamaha, which has strong links with Monster Energy, but Razgatlioglu called Yamaha’s bluff and was allowed to retain his sponsorship.

It is notable that Jorge Lorenzo was not called up to replace Valentino Rossi.

This would seem to confirm recent reports that Yamaha are looking at dropping the Spaniard as a test rider, which were prompted by Lorenzo’s very poor times at the recent Portimao test, where he was slower on the Yamaha M1 MotoGP machine than the permanent riders were on production bikes.

Afterward, Valentino Rossi offered some criticism of the Spaniard, telling reporters that Lorenzo would need to spend more time riding motorcycles outside of testing work if he wanted to be a test rider.

We will not know whether Rossi will be able to ride at Valencia until Friday evening at the earliest. But if Rossi’s test today comes back positive, then he will be certain to miss this weekend.

He then has another week to provide two negative tests before he is allowed to travel to Valencia to race.

Source: Yamaha Racing