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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