Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi will miss this weekend’s Virtual Grand Prix of Spain as teams can only enter one rider, and Rossi says team-mate Maverick Vinales is “much more competitive”.
This weekend will mark the third edition of MotoGP’s pro rider online series, organised amid the delay to the 2020 season start caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The first two races were held under the StayAtHomeGP banner, and Rossi – who recently confirmed 2020 is unlikely to be his last MotoGP season – took part in the second of the two, finishing seventh.
Vinales was on the podium in both races, and with the upcoming third event marking the switch to a single-rider-per-team format, Rossi says it was a no-brainer that Vinales should represent the factory Yamaha team.
“Just Maverick will ride in the Virtual Grand Prix because we had to choose only one person as the team can only have one competitor,” Rossi told MotoGP.com.
“So, I said it’s better to have Maverick as he is much more competitive than me.”
Rossi said he’s “not that competitive on MotoGP” as he “normally plays with cars”, the seven-time MotoGP champion having taken part in an Assetto Corsa session with Ferrari Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc earlier this week.
The upcoming Virtual GP at Jerez, held on the weekend for which the real-life MotoGP venue of the race had been initially scheduled, will be the first event in the series held on the newly-released MotoGP 20 video game.
The premier class will compete over 13 laps, 50 percent of the real-life race distance, while races for Moto2 and Moto3 riders have also been added to the itinerary.
Repsol Honda will again be represented by Marc and Alex Marquez, the outfit allowed a pair of entries “as the reigning MotoGP champions”. Two teams will be absent, with LCR unable to call upon either of its riders and the factory KTM team ceding its entry to Tech 3, while Aprilia will call upon its test rider Lorenzo Savadori.
Virtual Spanish GP line-up
MotoGP: Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez, Danilo Petrucci, Maverick Vinales, Alex Rins, Fabio Quartararo, Francesco Bagnaia, Tito Rabat, Miguel Oliveira, Iker Lecuona, Lorenzo Savadori
Moto2: Jorge Martin, Lorenzo Baldassarri, Enea Bastianini, Marcos Ramirez, Jorge Navarro, Marcel Schrotter, Aron Canet, Jake Dixon, Bo Bendsneyder, Luca Marini
Moto3: Albert Arenas, Dennis Foggia, Niccolo Antonelli, Gabriel Rodrigo, Tony Arbolino, Raul Fernandez, Sergio Garcia, Deniz Oncu, Alonso Lopez, Ricardo Rossi