In a sudden turn of events, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider Franco Morbidelli will be missing the Dutch GP to be held at the TT Circuit Assen in the Netherlands. A knee injury sustained while training has forced Morbidelli to miss his chance at winning the famed racing event this coming Sunday. It would appear that this is in fact, the same knee which has been giving Franco some problems in the past few weeks.
In the interim, Franco Morbidelli is undergoing medical assessment in order to determine the next steps towards his recovery. Should everything go smoothly, we will likely see him back in action in time for the Styrian GP at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. We previously witnessed Morbidelli worsen the condition of his knee when he slipped and fell while practicing a bike swap in Barcelona after his knee gave way a couple of weeks ago.
Given the sudden turn of events, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team had to act fast in order to ensure that the show must go one. In line with this, PYSRT has commissioned American GRT Yamaha Team rider, Garrett Gerloff, to race on behalf of Morbidelli at this Sunday's Dutch GP. The race will serve as the American rider's first time to compete at the TT Circuit Assen. He is, however, acquainted with the Yamaha YZR-M1, after having previously substituted for Valentino Rossi in the Valencia GP practice sessions last year.
In a report published by Road Racing World, Razlan Razali, Team Principal of PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team expressed his enthusiasm towards enlisiting the help of Gerloff for this Sunday's race, "Everyone has had to move very quickly after the news late yesterday that Franco would not be able to race this weekend and we give our thanks to Yamaha for facilitating this. We’re very excited to welcome Garrett to the team this weekend and realise that it’s a tough task to come in at late notice but we are confident that he will be able to do a good job. We wish Franco all the best for his recovery and hope to welcome him back to the track after the summer break."
Likewise, Garrett Gerloff has stated that he is excited for the opportunity to race with the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team this weekend. "I’m looking forward to jumping on the Yamaha M1 again and twisting the throttle. We’ll see how things go, but I feel good and would like to thank Yamaha and the team for considering me. It won’t be easy, but I’m going to give it my best shot!"