Gerloff will step in if the Italian, who missed both Aragon rounds due to a positive Covid test, does not receive the required pair of negative PCR test results ahead of the Valencia weekend.

And he could well be needed since Rossi‘s latest PCR test, on Tuesday 3rd November, came back with another positive result for Covid-19.

Nevertheless, today (Wednesday 4th November) the Italian will undergo a new test. Should he test negative, Rossi would still have enough time to complete the required second PCR test and fly to Valencia.

But should Rossi be deemed ‘unfit’ to ride in Valencia, Gerloff will be backed by the #46’s usual crew for his very first riding experience aboard a YZR-M1.

Rossi is now the only Yamaha rider no longer in title contention, with team-mate Maverick Vinales third in the world championship, 19 points from Suzuki’s Joan Mir and sandwiched between the Petronas Yamahas of Fabio Quartararo (-14 points) and Franco Morbidelli (-25 points).

Valencia is hosting two back-to-back MotoGP rounds, followed by the Portimao finale.

Gerloff finished 11th as a rookie in this year’s WorldSBK standings, celebrating three podiums.

“I‘m so honoured that Yamaha has considered me for this opportunity,” Gerloff said. “This year has already been quite the adventure, and this would be the cherry on top. It‘s been a dream of mine to ride the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike since I started racing so many years ago, and to potentially have it happen is really exciting.

“But I am just sorry to get this opportunity under these unfortunate circumstances for Valentino. I feel really bad for him and I hope that he recovers soon, we all miss the number 46 on track! All the best to him.

“If I do end up riding this weekend, it will be an uphill battle not knowing the bike, tyres, brakes, etc. Also, I have never been to the Valencia track before. But I‘m confident in myself and ready for the challenge! Thanks to all at Yamaha. Bring it on!”

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