Current WorldSBK factory Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark has been selected to replace the injured Valentino Rossi in the next MotoGP round in Aragon on 24 September 2017.
The 24 year old Dutch will be making his MotoGP debut on the Yamaha YZF-M1 for the very first time with the support of Rossi’s current team.
Rossi is expected to make his return at the beginning of the three flyaway races starting in Motegi, Japan.
WorldSBK Yamaha rider Michael van der Mark has been selected to replace the injured Movistar Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi at Aragon in the next MotoGP round. As Rossi continues his rehabilitation procedure following an enduro-related injury, the 24 year old from Netherlands who is the current factory Yamaha rider riding for the Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team will be making his MotoGP debut.
To know more about Rossi’s unfortunate incident, CLICK HERE.
Van der Mark has been given this golden opportunity of not only entering his first ever MotoGP race this coming 24 September 2017 but also to ride one of the most successful MotoGP race machines, the Yamaha M1.
The 2014 WorldSSP Champion will be supported by Rossi’s current team for his first time out in the MotoGP scene. Although Van der Mark’s current WorldSBK team mate, Alex Lowes, has more experience on board MotoGP machinery, the opportunity was presented upon the 24 year old Dutch to test out his skills on the highest levels of circuit racing.
When Michael van der Mark was asked about the golden opportunity, he stated “I’m excited to be given the opportunity to ride the YZR-M1 at the Aragón MotoGP round. I’ve never ridden a MotoGP bike before, so this will be a completely new experience for me. I’m very curious to see what it feels like to ride on such a machine. I realise that it won’t be easy going straight into an official practice session without any prior testing. Nevertheless, I’m very grateful to Yamaha for the opportunity. I’m sure it will be a great learning experience.”
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing also commented that “Having previously used Katsuyuki Nakasuga to fill in for Jorge Lorenzo in 2011 and Alex Lowes to replace Bradley Smith in 2016, we decided that Michael van der Mark should have the opportunity this time around. It is never easy to step in to replace another rider and even more difficult to replace Valentino Rossi, but we believe that Michael has all the credentials and experience to do a good job.”
Although Rossi is going through rehab at quite an impressive speed, he will be expected to miss at least two rounds in order for the nine-time MotoGP World Champion to make full recovery. Rossi will return back on the saddle at the beginning of the three flyaway in Motegi, Japan.