Dutch World Superbike prodigy Michael van der Mark will replace Valentino Rossi on the factory Yamaha at Aragon.
The Italian injured himself in a training accident on August 31st which ruled him out of his home race at Misano. Rossi suffered fractures of his right tibia and fibia, and the injury has a forecasted 40 day recovery period.
Yamaha have previously used Alex Lowes as a replacement rider, but decided to give the Duchman the opportunity this time around.
“Following Valentino‘s crash on Thursday, August 31st, Yamaha decided not to replace him at the San Marino Grand Prix, but for the next Grand Prix in Aragón the team is obliged to enter two riders,” said Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis. “Having previously used Katsuyuki Nakasuga to fill in for Jorge Lorenzo in 2011 and Alex Lowes to replace Bradley Smith in 2016, we decided that Michael van der Mark should have the opportunity this time around. It is never easy to step in to replace another rider and even more difficult to replace Valentino Rossi, but we believe that Michael has all the credentials and experience to do a good job. We will give him our very best support and wish him every success for this exciting opportunity. We also hope that Valentino will continue to make a rapid recovery and that we will see him again, back on his YZR-M1, on the earliest possible occasion.”
“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to ride the YZR-M1 at the Aragón MotoGP round,” said van der Mark. “I‘ve never ridden a MotoGP bike before, so this will be a completely new experience for me. I‘m very curious to see what it feels like to ride on such a machine. I realise that it won‘t be easy going straight into an official practice session without any prior testing. Nevertheless, I‘m very grateful to Yamaha for the opportunity. I‘m sure it will be a great learning experience.”