Valentino Rossi announces he has COVID-19; will miss MotoGP race Sunday at Aragon

Valentino Rossi has COVID-19
Mirco Lazzari/Getty Images

Nine-time champion Valentino Rossi will miss the MotoGP race Sunday as “The Doctor” has tested positive for COVID-19.

The Monster Energy Yamaha rider announced via social media that he learned Thursday afternoon that he had contracted the virus after waking up with soreness and a slight fever. Rossi said he was tested twice, coming up negative on a quick PCR test before the second result Thursday afternoon was positive.

MotoGP will be racing in consecutive weeks at MotorLand Aragon in Spain, and the Italian star expects he could miss both races.

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“I am so disappointed I will have to miss the race at Aragon,” Rossi wrote. “I’d like to be optimistic and confident, but I expect the second round at Aragon (on Oct. 25) to be a “no go” for me as well. I am sad and angry because I did my best to respect the protocol, and although the test I had on Tuesday was negative, I self-isolated since my arrival from Le Mans.

Valentino Rossi before Sunday’s race at Le Mans (Steve Wobser/Getty Images)

“Anyway, this is the way it is, and I can’t do anything to change the situation. I will now follow the medical advice, and I just hope I will be feeling well soon.”

Rossi, 41, was coming off a rough race at Le Mans, France, where he crashed on the opening lap.

He has one podium in nine races this season for Yamaha and announced last month he will be moving to Petrona Yamaha SRT next season.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media

Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.