Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi will miss this Sunday’s Aragon Grand Prix after a positive test for COVID-19. He has reported experiencing symptoms that required two additional tests on Thursday after testing negative on Tuesday. A rapid PCR test was negative. The second test was positive.
Rossi announced the news on Twitter, where he said he felt that his “bones were sore” and that he underwent the mandatory isolation after last weekend’s race at Le Mans. He expressed frustration at following protocol and still contracting the virus.
MotoGP will contest two races at Aragon, one this weekend and one the next. Rossi does not expect to contest either event.
Yamaha hasn’t been having an easy time of it lately, summed up in this statement from managing director 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 minimize the chance for any future issues.
Rossi’s condition will be “reviewed” on a daily basis, and he’ll be under close watch by medical personnel.
Rossi has not been in contact with any other riders, team members, or personal staff since leaving Le Mans, but from Jarvis’ statement, it’s likely that the virus has been able to circulate in a very small capacity within the paddock, since no one was displaying symptoms.
It’s already been a back-and-forth year for Rossi, who has retired from four of 2020's nine races but has scored within the top 10 at every event he’s finished. He’ll lose on crucial points-scoring opportunities while undergoing quarantine, which is to say nothing about any potential impacts on his health.