If Valentino Rossi is unfit to return to MotoGP action at Aragon later this month, several names have been mentioned as likely replacements.

Factory test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Yamaha World Superbike's Alex Lowes, for example, both raced a YZR-M1 in MotoGP last season.

But according to paddock rumours at Misano, another rider in contention is their Suzuka winning team-mate Michael van der Mark.

Indeed, some sources have told Crash.net that the Dutchman - who rides alongside Lowes at the Yamaha WorldSBK team - is now first-in-line for what would be a MotoGP debut, if Rossi is absent from Aragon.

"We are considering all options and a final decision is expected to be taken on Monday next week," a Yamaha spokesman told Crash.net, when asked about van der Mark.

Rossi suffered displaced fractures of his right tibia and fibula during an enduro training accident on August 31, ruling him out of this weekend's home Misano round.

The nine-time world champion is determined to do all he can to return for Aragon, but admits that - at just 22 days since the accident - it is well short of the 40-day recovery forecast by doctors.

"Aragon would be three weeks after the accident. So it will be really difficult, but we'll try," Rossi told Italian TV on Thursday.

Although the stand-in rider should be confirmed next week, a decision on Rossi's fitness is unlikely to be made until the eve of the September 22-24 event.

Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal has ruled out Johann Zarco standing in at the factory team.


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

I was pretty surprised he wasnt brought in already. VdM is great rider and should have shot in MotoGP, even tough I would really like to see him in SBK paddock. Getting in factory team for one off is really hard. Lowes was in Tech3 but the pressure is going to be complitely different if you are replacing Rossi in factory team. Young, fast, humble and non Spanish/English, what more could you want?

Great rider?  Based on what?

Not sure what you mean about seeing him in SBK paddock - he is, but fairly anonymous performances so far this year! Also seem to recall Alex being the faster at Suzuka 8hr

Well, he beat ex MotoGP champion, was pretty much on par with WSBK champion, faster than Alex Lowes who have had that bike 2 years, 50/50 would have taken Yamahas first win without tire problem, Lowes being faster on Suzuka bike there is 2 midgets and VdM so ofcourse the setup is going to be set more for littlemen. Dont know what your problem is with him, but he is fast rider. And I ment would like to see him on SBK paddock in future too.

josh brookes please? the guy said shits about GP rider that dont want to ride when unsafe.

why yamaha didnt even consider him? because he sucks?

alex lowes?

If anyone deserves this seat it's the young multi world superbike champion Dutchman. (sarcasm)

What exactly has he done to be so highly rated? It beats me.

Totally agree, massively overhyped, was supposed to wipe the floor with Alex & hasn't - 2017 podiums = AL 2 - 0 VDM.


It will be better if yamaha put cameron Beaubier in Rossi's seat that guy had already win championships in AMA yamaha should choose him

Vdm as replacement is ok. He hasn't ride a motogp and probably this is the only chance for him. Just don't bin it in the race please.

Unfortunately an american rider would most likely never be considered since ben speis left yamaha on not the best of terms and josh herrins terrible showing in moto2.  Hopefully I can be proven wrong but I don't see Cameron even being an option.  However idk why Van der Mark would be either it should be Zarco... Barbera had a wild card as a factory rider last year... whoever Rossis replacement will be should be given the seat