Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi will miss this weekend’s MotoGP Aragon Grand Prix after returning a positive test for Covid-19 on Thursday.
He is the first premier class rider to test positive for the virus.
Rossi holds only 13th in the standings after three straight retirements and will now miss at least this weekend’s race at MotorLand Aragon after contracting the virus.
Rossi returned to his home in Tavullia, Italy, after the most recent round at Le Mans, France, and carried out the standard pre-event test on Tuesday, which he returned negative.
On Wednesday he trained without any symptoms or issues but awoke on Thursday and carried out a quick PCR test and a standard test.
The quick PCR test was returned negative but the standard test came back positive.
Rossi’s Yamaha team stressed that during his time at home he has not been in contact with any person currently at the Grand Prix of Aragon.
“Unfortunately this morning I woke up and I was not feeling good,” he said.
“My bones were sore and I had a slight fever, so I immediately called the doctor who tested me twice.
“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.”
It is a further setback for Yamaha after one team member tested positive prior to the Le Mans event, prompting the removal of five engineers within the same bubble.
“First and foremost we hope Valentino will not suffer too much in the coming days and will recover fully in the shortest time possible,” said Yamaha chief Lin Jarvis.
“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 issues.”
Rossi’s absence means there will be no premier class champions on the grid at MotorLand Aragon with Marc Marquez still recuperating from the arm injury he sustained at Jerez in July.