MotoGP: Valentino Rossi ruled out of Aragon Grand Prix following positive Covid-19 test

Valentino Rossi has tested positive for Covid-19
Valentino Rossi has tested positive for Covid-19

Valentino Rossi will not compete in this weekend's Grand Prix of Aragon after testing positive for Covid-19. 

The nine-time world champion felt sore and under the weather this morning and called for a doctor. Rossi had two tests - a quick Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test (which came back negative), followed by a standard PCR test which came back positive at around 4pm local time. 

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"Unfortunately, this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good," Rossi said in his social media post. "My bones were sore, and I had a slight fever, so I immediately called the doctor who tested me twice. The ‘quick PCR test’ result was negative, just like the test I underwent on Tuesday. But the second one, of which the result was sent to me at 16:00 this afternoon, was unfortunately positive.

"I am so disappointed that I will have to miss the race at Aragon. I'd like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round in Aragon to be a ‘no go’ for me as well... I am sad and angry because I did my best to respect the protocol and although the test I had on Tuesday was negative, I self-isolated since my arrival from Le Mans.

"Anyway, this is the way it is, and I can't do anything to change the situation. I will now follow the medical advice, and I just hope I will be feeling well soon."

The Italian had travelled back home to Tavullia, Italy, after the French GP at Le Mans last weekend. As per the rules, Rossi underwent a PCR test on Tuesday and this came back negative. Rossi was feeling fully fit and he trained at home without any symptoms or inconveniences on Wednesday. 

According to a statement released by Yamaha this evening, Rossi has not been in contact with anybody that is currently present at Aragon since he left Le Mans. This includes VR46 Academy riders, VR46 staff and members of the Monster Energy Yamaha team. 

"This is very bad news for Valentino and very bad news for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team and for all MotoGP fans around the world," Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis added. "First and foremost, we hope Valentino will not suffer too much in the coming days and will recover fully in the shortest time possible. 

"It comes as a second blow for our MotoGP operations having faced the absence of Project Leader Sumi-san and five YMC engineers at the Le Mans race after one member tested positive – despite being fortunately totally asymptomatic. These two incidents remind us that no matter how careful you are, the risk is always present - as we see with the rising numbers of infections in Europe at this time.

"We have checked with the Italian health authorities and we have been advised that any member of our team that was in contact with Valentino up until Monday is excluded from direct risk. Nevertheless, we will be even more attentive from now on to minimise the chance of any future issue."

Rossi is the first MotoGP rider to test positive, however several members of the paddock have previously tested positive despite tight restrictions being in place. Moto2's Jorge Martin missed the double-header at Misano last month after testing positive

Rossi will continue to self-isolate back home in Italy and it's unlikely that he'll be able to compete in the Teruel GP (also at Aragon) next weekend. If that's the case, test rider Jorge Lorenzo could make a sensational return to action. The Spaniard was due to make a wildcard appearance at the Catalan GP before the coronavirus pandemic played havoc with the original calendar. Yamaha have made no comment on a potential replacement rider at this early stage. 

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Josh Close

By Josh Close

Sports Reporter and fan of all things motorsport.