Wataru Yoshikawa is looking forward to making what will be only his second career MotoGP race having been offered to chance to ride Valentino Rossi's vacant FIAT Yamaha M1.

While the likes of Cal Crutchlow and Colin Edwards were originally mooted, the Yamaha test rider would turn out to be a surprise choice, with the team favouring the chance to keep developing the M1 in a racing environment.

While the Japanese rider admits he faces a steep learning curve around circuits he has not visited before, he is excited about the opportunity to ride the championship-leading bike in Spain.

"I'm excited about riding the M1 in Spain this week, even if I'm very sorry for Valentino's injury. I have only ridden in a MotoGP race once, at Motegi in 2002, and this is the first time I have ridden at the Montmel? (Barcelona) track.

"We can see from the team's results this season that Yamaha did a good job with the winter development of the M1 and I am sure that these few races I will contest now will be extremely helpful for the future development of our bike."