News 12 Sep 2017

Yamaha drafts in van der Mark to replace Rossi at Aragon grand prix

WorldSBK contender to make MotoGP debut in Spain.

Source: Supplied.

Yamaha WorldSBK regular Michael van der Mark will contest the 14th round of the MotoGP World Championship at Aragon in Spain with the factory Movistar Yamaha outfit, which will see him fill-in for the injured Valentino Rossi who’s currently recovering from a leg injury.

Van der Mark, a three-time victor of the Suzuka 8 Hours and a Supersport world champion, will make his debut in the prestigious championship on 24 September in what will be a sole one-off appearance.

The Dutchman is no stranger to the MotoGP paddock, having competed in seven 125cc grands prix in 2010, and in the 2011 Moto2 race at Assen in The Netherlands.

The 24-year-old expressed his excitement of entering the highly-regarded series, and despite being unbale to test the YZR-M1 prior to the event, he’s still grateful for the opportunity.

“I’m excited to be given the opportunity to ride the YZR-M1 at the Aragon MotoGP round,” said van der Mark. “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.”

Rossi is expected to return for the Japanese grand prix at Motogei on 13-15 October, however the stage of his recovery will be the ultimate deciding factor on when the Italian lines up on the grid.