Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (YMC) and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP have decided not to enter a replacement rider to substitute for Valentino Rossi at next weekend‘s Gran Premio de Teruel event. As per the Decree by the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, issued on Tuesday 13th October 2020, Rossi will not be permitted to attend next week‘s race event (23rd – 25th October). The Italian Covid-19 measures require any person who tests Covid-19 positive to be in self-isolation for 10 days from the moment of the test (in Rossi‘s case, Thursday 15th October). Prior to rejoining normal life, he will need to perform a further PCR test and register a negative result. Therefore, the earliest that Rossi can participate in a MotoGP event will be at the Gran Premio de Europa, held at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia on 6th – 8th November.
Yamaha has carefully weighed their options and decided not to enter a replacement rider to substitute for Rossi for the upcoming Gran Premio de Teruel. This decision was based on the high stress that is put on Yamaha‘s MotoGP project members during this Covid-19 influenced season. Taking into account the reduced number of staff at events as well as the enforced long stay of YMC‘s engineers and non-EU team staff, YMC and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP choose not to impose the additional stress of having to adapt to a new rider who would be expected to substitute for Rossi for only one single race weekend.
When taking the decision not to enter a replacement rider for the Gran Premio de Teruel, Yamaha confirmed with Race Direction that they are abiding by the FIM World Championship Grand Prix Regulations. Article 1.11.3.ii states that: “Teams must make every reasonable effort to provide a qualified substitute rider to fulfil their entry obligations within 10 days of withdrawal”. In the case of Rossi‘s withdrawal from the Aragon GP event, it was officially communicated by Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP to IRTA on Friday 16th October. This means the 10-day time limit would be reached on Monday 26th October, one day after the actual race day of the Gran Premio de Teruel. During next week‘s Gran Premio de Teruel, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP will be fully focusing its efforts on supporting Maverick Viñales. A further update on Rossi‘s condition can be expected in the week after.