Petronas Yamaha have confirmed that WorldSBK rider Garrett Gerloff will ride in place of Franco Morbidelli at this weekend’s Dutch MotoGP. 

Morbidelli has been ruled out due to a left knee injury suffered during training. It’s believed the injury is a worsening of the ligament damage sustained at Le Mans. 

This will be the second time that Gerloff steps in for Yamaha as he replaced Valentino Rossi during Friday free practice at the 2020 European Grand Prix, Valencia. 

Gerloff was impressive throughout the two sessions as he adapted quickly to MotoGP machinery, before Rossi received a negative PCR test - resulting in the Italian being back in action for Saturday and Sunday. 

Speaking about the opportunity, Gerloff said: "I’m excited for the opportunity ahead, I’m not someone who runs away from a challenge, so I’m ready to get to the track. 

"It’ll be a new circuit for me, I like trying new tracks, it looks fun, fast and flowing, and really suits my riding style. 

"I’m looking forward to jumping on the Yamaha M1 again and twisting the throttle. 

"We’ll see how things go, but I feel good and would like to thank Yamaha and the team for considering me. It won't be easy, but I'm going to give it my best shot!"

It’s been an up-and-down 2021 WorldSBK season so far for the American, with crashes ruining potential podiums in Aragon and Estoril, while a grid penalty for Misano left the GRT man playing catch-up for most of the weekend. 

However, Gerloff was able to fight back from last place to claim eighth in the ten lap Superpole race, before clinching fifth in race two - showing that speed hasn’t been in question.