Valentino Rossi's early return from a broken leg means Michael van der Mark is set to miss out on a MotoGP debut this weekend at Aragon.

Having already skipped Misano, Movistar Yamaha were contractually obliged to field a replacement for Rossi this weekend - calling up the Yamaha WorldSBK star.

The Dutchman now faces spending the weekend as a spectator, unless Rossi decides he is unfit to continue after Friday practice… in which case van der Mark will face an even tougher task, having lost out on track time.

"Of course it's a shame because you want to ride, you want to have the opportunity and also Michael is very young so sure he will be of course disappointed. But in the end he needs to understand," said Marc Marquez.

"Well it's like if they give you a caramel and then they take it away!" quipped Rossi's team-mate Maverick Vinales. "It's like this, but anyway for Yamaha it's good that Valentino is here and he can ride the bike at 100%. He's always good for our team.

"For sure it's difficult for Michael. This opportunity you only have once. So it's a shame but it is what it is right now. At least on our side we hope Valentino can be fast and bring the bike at the maximum level."

"I think also van der Mark in the last days understood it was maybe difficult to ride this weekend!" commented Rossi, who tried his healing leg on an R1 at Misano on Monday and Tuesday.

van der Mark previously came close to a MotoGP debut in place of the injured Karel Abraham at the 2015 Dutch TT, but the deal fell through at the last moment due to a 'misunderstanding' over the budget for any crash damage.


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If VR try to ride this Friday, its a good media hype. If he doesn't, Michael van der Mark maybe perform too good with all free practice. It's very logical decicion from VR. All other Yamaha riders are rookie on Yamaha team, and they have done very good on those bike.

^ dont think its about a non gp rider outclassing valentino, just a case of rossi taking obvious precedent over the stand in, but it would be interesting to see van der mark ride

Yeah, anyone thinking VDM was going to jump on the M1 and immediately lap faster than one of the fastest riders on the planet is only fooling themselves.


I like Mikey VDM, he's a talented rider and I imagine he will get his chance to ride a MotoGP bike eventually, and it could still happen this weekend.

I can only respect VdM's humble attitude and I hope he will be given a chance to ride a MotoGP bike some day. 

Got to fight for a ride. No place for sympathy at elite level. It's dog eat dog.

VDM better focus on his WSBK Championship,  if he have a good job on WSBK Championship, MGP will go nowhere from him

Maybe yamaha could give VDM a wildcard ride at Valencia at the season end?? 


VR is wasting his time and depriving mvd of an opportunity to show his skills to the paddock. What good is getting a couple of points if any. He also could crash and do permanent damage. Very selfish and foolish


Bancksie - where are you coming up with nonsensical comments like that? VR has a job to do - just like most working schmucks, it just happens to be risking his life each and every time he throws a leg over his bike - not working for Walmart. He is back because he has been cleared to race by the Doctors - and actually wants to be there. What is selfish about that? If you were capable of doing your daily job, and denied someone younger of taking your place, due to you being fit enough - would you feel bad about it? As for being foolish -- come on please - he has a contract to race - he's not running a charity for wannabe MotoGP riders, or denying anyone anything. He's doing what he knows best - his bloody job! I like MVDM, and think he has a bright future, but even he would no doubt say he'd do exactly the same, if he were in VR's position. There are 2 championships at stakes here - riders & manufacturers, and Mr Rossi has every right to do his paid job, and represent his team. Let's just see how you're "Couple of points - if any" thoughts pan out on Sunday, as it sounds as if you're ruling him out of racing just as well as he normally does. The only selfish thing would be him NOT racing, and doing as he loves doing - entertaining millions of folks Worldwide. Your thoughts are about as misguided as maybe Honda replacing DP with a heavier rider, if it's wet - because they may be able to get the tyres to work better! They have jobs to do, and I'm looking forward to seeing them all finish safe & sound on Sunday.