Yamaha names Rossi's standby for European GP

Lewis Duncan
·1-min read

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.

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha

Garrett Gerloff, GRT Yamaha<span class="copyright">Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images</span>
Garrett Gerloff, GRT YamahaGold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images