Looks like Yamaha will have a tough time during this weekend’s MotoGP round in Le Mans, France as six of its engineers have tested positive for COVID-19. This includes the Yamaha YZR-M1 Project Leader, Takahiro Sumi. All six engineers have no choice but to miss this weekend’s race as they have to undergo self-isolation in Andorra.
They will still be remotely connected to the crew and riders in the pit box. Frankly, they’ll need all the help they can get if they wish to further extend their lead in the 2020 MotoGP championship, especially Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha SRT) who’s currently leading the field followed by Maverick Vinales (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in third behind Suzuki’s Joan Mir.
Here’s part of the official statement released by Yamaha regarding the matter.
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Racing Srl regret to announce that six Yamaha MotoGP Group engineers, including YZR-M1 Project Leader Takahiro Sumi, will be unable to attend this weekend‘s Grand Prix de France.
Due to restrictions in travel, several of Yamaha‘s MotoGP staff are frequently staying in Andorra in the breaks between the back-to-back rounds. On this occasion, after taking the usual PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test on Monday before the planned departure from Andorra, one member of Yamaha‘s engineering staff received a positive test result for Covid-19 on the Tuesday. The other five members of the YMC engineers group received negative test results.
24 hours later a further test was done to double-check the first test results. The test results were identical, confirming the initial positive Covid-19 test result for one member and negative results for the other five members.
As a consequence, all six YMC engineers in this travel group are now self-isolating in Andorra and will not be attending the upcoming race weekend in Le Mans, France.