Yamaha MotoGP

Lin Jarvis: Four riders could replace Valentino Rossi

Jarvis: Four riders could replace Rossi
By AutoSport

10/09/2017 at 10:56Updated 10/09/2017 at 11:03

Yamaha MotoGP team boss Lin Jarvis has outlined four riders that could replace the injured Valentino Rossi for the next round of the series at Aragon.

A broken leg caused by a motocross crash last week ruled Rossi out of this weekend's Misano race, and with doctors' predicting a minimum recovery time of 30 days, the Italian is unlikely to be fit in time for Aragon in two weeks.

Yamaha opted not to field a replacement for Rossi at his home grand prix, instead fielding a sole works M1 for Maverick Vinales.

However, the Japanese manufacturer is obliged to run two bikes at Aragon, and Jarvis says there are four options available to Yamaha should Rossi be unfit to ride.

He outlined its pair of World Superbike riders, Alex Lowes - who replaced an injured Bradley Smith at Tech 3 Yamaha last year for two races - and Michael van der Mark, as well as Japanese test riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Kohta Nozane.

Alex Lowes - World Superbikes 2015

Alex Lowes - World Superbikes 2015Eurosport

This rules out satellite Tech 3 riders Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger, who are contractually tied only to the French outfit and not to Yamaha itself.

"We have four candidates who could replace [Rossi]," said Jarvis. "Two test riders in Japan, Nakasuga and Nozane, and we have two Superbike riders, Alex and Michael.

"It will be one of those four."

However, Jarvis conceded that FIM Endurance World Championship Nozane was unlikely to get the call-up, given his total lack of MotoGP race experience.

Michael van der Mark

Michael van der MarkEurosport

"I think it would be a tall order to ask Nozane to replace Valentino in Aragon," he said.

"I don't think he has experience of Aragon, he certainly doesn't have the multi-year experience Nakasuga has in many MotoGP races.

"It's more likely we'd use him as a wildcard to get him up to speed. It would be too much pressure to throw in him to the lions' den."

Asked whether Rossi would at least attempt to race at Aragon, Jarvis said this was "not planned" but did not discount the prospect entirely.

"I would say he'll only go [to Aragon] if he is convinced he will be able to ride, and race," Jarvis added.

"If he's not going to be up there fighting for the top five or six positions, I don't think he will go.

"He has the experience, he will know how the feeling is. We will do a test with him before him participating in Aragon, he would ride probably an R1 [Superbike].

"Will that happen? I don't know. It depends on how he's feeling, the pain, the physiotherapy."