MotoGP: Rossi’s Official Replacement is Wataru Yoshikawa, Yamaha Test Rider


What Happens When Wild Speculation is Just That

12:02pm EST — Fiat Yamaha announced Wednesday that team test rider Wataru  will replace Valentino Rossi for the Spanish Grand Prix and beyond while the Italian recovers from a compound fracture to his right leg suffered during practice at Mugello.  In the team’s press release, after much speculation about a replacement that ranged from the plausible to the fantastic, Fiat Yamaha said, “It is expected that Yoshikawa will be with the Fiat Yamaha Team for at least three races, after which more should be known about Rossi’s expected return date.”  They went on to explain that Yoshikawa’s experience (he replaces Loris Capirossi on the grid as the oldest rider) “brings with him a wealth of experience riding the YZR-M1.”  As Lin Jarvis noted, “We had always planned to use a rider from within the Yamaha Motor & Tech 3 family but for each rider we considered who is in active competition, their move to the Fiat Yamaha Team would have created another problem for their own racing program or for the teams in which they are engaged.”  Rossi’s bike will again sit idle in Assen this weekend as it did at Silverstone (read the full race report here) last weekend.

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