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Yamaha to replace Rossi at Catalunya

A new rider will assume Valentino Rossi's hallowed mount from the Catalunya Grand Prix onwards, Yamaha have confirmed.
FIAT Yamaha has confirmed it will honour its agreement to field a replacement rider for Valentino Rossi from the Catalunya Grand Prix onwards, although it remains unclear as to whom it will be.

Sources from within Yamaha had already hinted that it would prefer to concentrate on the sole M1 of championship leader Jorge Lorenzo for the time being, but contractual obligations with Dorna stipulate it must field a full line-up of riders by the third race.

As such, Lin Jarvis says there will be a new rider to take Rossi's bike from the Catalunya Grand Prix on July 4th, but would not be drawn on who has been approached so far.

"Concerning the replacement rider - we have decided to field a replacement rider from the Catalunya Grand Prix on 4th July,” he said. ”We have chosen the Catalunya Grand Prix to respect our Team Participation obligations to the MotoGP championship and also to take time to select the most suitable rider and to make sure we're organised and well prepared for this new situation. At this moment I am unable to tell you who the rider will be because we have not yet made a definitive decision.”

While there will be no two-man line-up for FIAT Yamaha at Silverstone nor Assen, Jarvis says he hopes an announcement will be made shortly.

"We expect to be able to inform you of our plan next week or at the latest at the Silverstone MotoGP event."

From within the Yamaha stable, the likes of Colin Edwards, James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow have been mentioned as potential replacements for Rossi.

The anticipated preferred choice of Ben Spies is believed to be unable to make the switch by virtue of his 'rookie' status, one that prevents from riding a factory-backed bike in 2010.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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Rossi, Lorenzo, French MotoGP Race 2010
FIAT Yamaha team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, MotoGP Le Mans 2010 [pic credit: Monster]
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Crutchlow, Czech MotoGP race 2016
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Crutchlow chasing Iannone, Czech MotoGP race 2016
Lorenzo, Czech MotoGP race 2016
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Pol Espargaro, Lorenzo, Czech MotoGP race 2016
Aleix Espargaro, Crutchlow, Vinales Czech MotoGP race 2016

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June 11, 2010 12:22 PM

As I've said before: it's pretty weak stuff from Yamaha to skip the next 2 races. As the premier team surely they can manage a bit more than just fulfilling their minimum obligation to come back in three races' time? The rookie rule is really murky. By definition, just about everyone who could replace Rossi from outside the current MotoGP grid IS a rookie. Test riders included. So technically they wouldn't be allowed to ride his bike. It's all a question as to whether a replacement rider would be regarded as 'contracted' to the factory team, and whether it has to be for the whole season. I think there's enough ambiguity/latitude in the rules to let Spies ride it.

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