Nine-time motorcycle world champion Valentino Rossi has tested positive for Covid-19, ruling him out of this weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix.
Rossi did not travel to the Spanish circuit, raising suspicion that the Italian had contracted the novel coronavirus.
Today Rossi confirmed those concerns with an official statement via social media.
“Unfortunately this morning I woke up and I wasn’t feeling so good,” he said. “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 results were sent to me at 4 pm this afternoon, was unfortunately positive.
“I’d like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round in Aragon will 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 return 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.”
Rossi becomes only the second rider among the tight-knitted MotoGP paddock to miss a race due to the virus. Moto2 rider Jorge Martin returned a positive test last month. Still, Rossi’s announcement no doubt leaves the premier class shocked after a relatively safe championship season so far.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis added: “This is very bad news for Valentino and very bad news for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team and all MotoGP fans around the world. First and foremost, we hope Valentino will not suffer too much in the coming days and will recover fully in the shortest time possible.
Rossi’s Yamaha’s teammate Maverick Vinales so far remains the works teams sole rider for this weekend.
But Yamaha’s test rider and three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo to slot into the vacant seat, having ridden the team’s 2019 bike at a test session last week.