MotoGP: Jorge Martin ruled out of Emilia Romagna GP after second positive Covid-19 test
Jorge Martin has been ruled out of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Misano after his latest Covid-19 test came back positive.
Martin missed last weekend's San Marino GP at the same circuit after testing positive for the condition. It was a huge blow for Martin who was only eight points behind championship leader Luca Marini heading into the race weekend.
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With Marini taking the win at Misano last weekend, Martin now finds himself 33 points behind the Italian. The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider currently sits fourth in the standings and another win for Marini this weekend will all but end Martin's title hopes.
The team are bringing in an experienced replacement for this weekend's race, with Mattia Pasini taking Martin's place. The Italian has a wealth of experience in 125cc and Moto2, including intermediate class victories at the 2018 Italian GP and 2019 Argentinian GP.
Pasini won the 2007 125cc race at Misano and finished second to Hector Barbera in the 2009 250cc San Marino GP.
“I'm very happy to be back on track, especially with it being at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, my home race," Pasini said. "I'm very sorry about what Jorge Martin is going through. I hope he can come back soon and in the meantime I will look after his bike well. I want to thank Red Bull KTM Ajo for giving me this opportunity, I am sure it will be a nice weekend.
"I want to enjoy this round, do a professional job and try to take progressive steps forward. I will work hard to bring home a good result.”
Meanwhile, rumours of Martin's potential move to Pramac Ducati for 2021 look set to continue in the coming days after the Red Bull KTM Ajo announced the signing of Remy Gardner for 2021.
MotoGP: Jorge Martin to miss San Marino GP after positive Covid-19 test
First published: 15 September 2020 by Josh Close
The Red Bull KTM Ajo rider is one of two positive tests ahead of this weekend's action at Misano, with a mechanic from a different team also affected. Both cases are asymptomatic, and they're are now safely in isolation. Martin and the other affected person have not entered the paddock for the event.
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It's a real blow for Martin, who is the middle of a title fight with Luca Marini and Enea Bastianini. Eight points cover the top three in the standings but Martin, who won the Austrian GP, now looks set to lose ground on his rivals this weekend.
"Jorge Martin has been unable to travel to San Marino due to a positive test for COVID-19," a team statement confirmed. "The Spaniard feels well and is quarantined at home, respecting the safety protocols of the health authorities. Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team hope that he will be able to make a speedy return to the paddock to continue the great work done at recent rounds."
Martin is the first GP rider to test positive for coronavirus after Dorna put strict and thorough safety measures in place to help prevent the spread of the disease. There has been restricted access all season, with regular testing and social bubbles in place. Anybody within the paddock must also wear a protective mask.
Before this race meeting there had only been one positive COVID-19 test, with a television worker testing positive at Brno. The person affected and those who had been in close contact were placed into self-isolation.
MotoGP has undertaken more than 14,000 tests for Covid-19 since before the Spanish Grand Prix and has safely detected and isolated each positive case diagnosed.