American Garrett Gerloff Designated to Standby for Rossi at Europa GP

In preparation for this weekend’s MotoGp Gran Premio de Europa event, the ENEOS-sponsored Team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP have selected GRT Yamaha WorldSBK’s Garrett Gerloff as its standby rider, should Valentino Rossi not be able to deliver two negative COVID-19 test results as required in order for him to participate in the race.

Rossi is eager to join his teammate Maverick Viñales in the pit box after sitting out the last two races at MotorLand Aragon. He had taken a PCR test on November 3rd, which came back positive and is currently undergoing new testing. If the next result comes back negative, Rossi will have just enough time to complete the second required test and fly to Valencia for competition.

“This virus is very complicated and serious,” Rossi explained. “I self-isolated at home the entire time until I was back to 100%, following all medical advice closely. I’m very sad because I’m feeling well, and can’t wait to be back on my M1 and reunited with my team. Missing two races was already two too many.”

The American Gerloff has impressed his GRT Yamaha WorldSBK team this season, despite COVID-19 disrupting his preparations in addition to inexperience at many of the circuits. He scored his first third place podium at Barcelona Race 2 during his sixth WorldSBK race, following it up with another third place and second place finish during the eighth and final round in Estoril. Gerloff earned himself a solid 11th position in the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship standings.

“I’m so honored that Yamaha has considered me for this opportunity,” says Gerloff. “2020 has already been quite the adventure, and this race would be the cherry on top. It’s a dream of mine to ride the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike since I started racing, but sorry that this opportunity comes under these unfortunate circumstances for Rossi. It will be an uphill battle not knowing the bike or the Valencia track if I do end up riding this weekend, but I’m confident in myself and ready for the challenge!”

We’ll have more updates regarding Rossi’s return to MotoGP as news unfolds.