UPDATE: Alex Marquez has confirmed that it's the same situation for his LCR Honda crew chief Christophe 'Beefy' Bourguignon, who had an unclear first PCR test, now needs to wait for a second negative test and will miss part of the Qatar weekend.

Maverick Vinales will face at least the opening two days of the season-opening Qatar MotoGP weekend without his Monster Yamaha crew chief Esteban Garcia.

Garcia is currently in isolation after an unclear PCR test result for Covid-19 . While a follow-up test was negative, Garcia must remain in isolation until passing a further PCR test on Saturday.

All being well, Garcia will then be able to join Vinales for Sunday's warm-up and season-opening night race.

"Esteban just got like – not positive, not negative. I think the correct name is 'reactive'. He was retested yesterday, he's negative, but he needs to remain [isolated] until Saturday. So he will come I think on the 28th for the race," Vinales confirmed.

"Anyway, we are all connected so for us it's not going to be a problem. We know Esteban will support us from the hotel at least. We made a lot of laps at the test, so we don’t have much more to try.

"We just need to run laps in practice, understand the track, how to be faster, how to be fast with full tank but not many other things to do honestly.

"It's a shame because we don’t have all the team, but at least we are very calm that it's negative, so the rest of the team is also okay."

A more high-profile absentee this weekend is six-time MotoGP champion Marc Marquez.

The Repsol Honda star, out since last July due to complications with a broken arm, has been riding an RC213V-S recently at Catalunya and Portimao, but ultimately decided against competing in the Qatar rounds on the advice of his doctors.

"It's very difficult to expect anything, the only person that knows is Marc," Vinales said. "But for sure it's always an extra motivation if Marc is here, he always raises the level and we push ourselves more.

"Anyway, for sure if he can ride bikes, it means soon he will be here and this is good for everyone."

Vinales, sixth overall with one victory last season, was second fastest behind Ducati's Jack Miller during the pre-season Qatar tests.

The Qatar government is offering free Covid vaccinations to the MotoGP paddock. Most received the first shot of the Pfizer vaccine during the recent tests, with the second shot due in around a week's time.