Yamaha’s factory MotoGP outfit has announced that five of its staff-including Team Director Massimo Meregalli-will miss both Valencia races after testing positive for Covid-19.
The squad confirmed the news on Friday evening in Valencia following the news of one of Maverick Vinales’ team members testing positive for the virus on Friday afternoon.
This led Yamaha to undertake a “thorough risk analysis” in order to minimise the risk of the virus spreading further, culminating in four further team members-including Meregalli-to move into ten-day quarantine, despite testing negative on Friday.
Yamaha said the four other team member would “remain in close contact with the team” while in quarantine, and that they would not be replaced for either the European Grand Prix or next weekend’s Valencian GP.
The Japanese manufacturer’s news comes as Valentino Rossi makes his return to the MotoGP paddock on Saturday after having to miss both races at Motorland Aragon-as well as Friday practice for the European GP-after contracting Covid-19 himself ahead of the Aragon GP.
He was forced to miss Friday after testing positive for the illness as late as Wednesday, before finally receiving a negative comeback on Thursday-allowing him to travel to Valencia soon afterwards, though the Italian still had to pass another test in Spain before being allowed to re-join the paddock.
He achieved his second negative test result on Friday evening, so will therefore take to the track for the first time since the French GP at Le Mans nearly a month ago.
Yamaha elected not to replace the seven-time premier class champion for either Aragon event, though brought in World Superbike star Garrett Gerloff for the European GP in case Rossi had to remain in quarantine.
The American thus was able to make his MotoGP debut on the M1 during Friday running, impressing with a run into the top five mid-way through FP2 before ultimately slipping back late on.
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