Avintia has apologised after one of its mechanics submitted a falsified Covid test ahead of this weekend's Emilia Romagna MotoGP and will 'close all relations' with the team member.

A WhatsApp message circulated to all IRTA (grand prix team) members a few days ago warned that 'a mechanic in a major team' had been caught submitting 'a negative PCR test result' into the online MotoGP system for paddock access at each event, 'that was actually a poorly modified version of a previous test'.

The exact motive was not given but it could have been to avoid the cost of undergoing a new test.

The unnamed mechanic has had their paddock pass, 'blocked and will not be permitted to attend [MotoGP] events or tests until further notice. This sanction will apply until, at least, the end of 2021.'

The message ended by warning 'there will now be increased scrutiny of PCR test certificates and any falsified documents will result in similar sanctions'.

Avintia has now issued a statement confirming that the mechanic in question was a member of their team:

'From Avintia Esponsorama Racing we show our total conformity with all the measures taken by Dorna and IRTA that, as well as our team policy and code of conduct to which all its members adhere, including mechanics, technicians, family members, sponsors, or any other person close to the team, we are obliged to take specific disciplinary measures and close all relations with our team member, who yesterday, thanks to the great work being done by Dorna and IRTA, unsuccessfully falsified a PCR test to get the access to the paddock of the Misano circuit for the next Grand Prix.

'Being the team indirectly responsible for assuming all the costs derived from the exceptional measures by the COVID-19 protocols to all its workers, with this type of actions we are aware that they have wanted to obtain their own benefit putting at risk the rest of the people who make up the team and the championship. These behaviours not only damage the image of the team, but also the rest of the paddock and the championship as a whole.

'We would like to clarify that it is the responsibility of each team member to enter their access and PCR test for the organisation, on an online platform for each circuit according to the guidelines that, for COVID-19 reasons, are currently in force for access to the paddock.

'Avintia Esponsorama Racing would like to apologise and thank DORNA and IRTA for all the efforts made to keep everyone in the MotoGP paddock safe, allowing the championship to run properly.'

Avintia runs Enea Bastianini and Luca Marini (in partnership with VR46) on Ducati machinery in the MotoGP class, plus Niccolo Antonelli and Carlos Tatay in Moto3.

Most paddock members took up the offer of free Pfizer Covid vaccinations, provided by Qatar, during the Losail season-openers. As vaccination doesn't completely stop infection there have been occasional positive tests since although, unlike last year, no MotoGP rider has been diagnosed during the 2021 season.