Six Yamaha Engineers To Miss Le Mans Due To Coronavirus

One unnamed Yamaha engineer has tested positive for Covid-19 in the period between Barcelona and Le Mans, and as a result of MotoGP's bubble structure, the group of six engineers, including M1 project leader Takahiro Sumi, have been quarantined in Andorra and are to miss the French Grand Prix at Le Mans. Yamaha is flying in additional engineers to assist with their roles while the six are absent.

The group was staying in Andorra between races, traveling as a group. Because they were in a group, all six have been forced to miss Le Mans while further tests are being carried out, and while Yamaha decide what to do for Aragon. The infected engineer is not currently showing symptoms, fortunately, and is able to continue working, as are the other members of the group. But they are being forced to work remotely, as opposed to being actually at the track.

The absence of six engineers, including the M1 project leader Sumi, is an inconvenience for Yamaha, but should not have a major impact on the Yamaha squad. The engineers are not working directly in one of the teams, but are involved in the overall project. The replacement engineers being flown in should be able to cover most of the work of the absent Yamaha staff.

The press release from Yamaha appears below:


SIX YAMAHA MOTOGP GROUP MEMBERS TO MISS THE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE

Le Mans (France), 8th October 2020

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Racing Srl regret to announce that six Yamaha MotoGP Group engineers, including YZR-M1 Project Leader Takahiro Sumi, will be unable to attend this weekend‘s Grand Prix de France.

STATEMENT – 8th October 2020

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Racing Srl regret to announce that six Yamaha MotoGP Group engineers, including YZR-M1 Project Leader Takahiro Sumi, will be unable to attend this weekend‘s Grand Prix de France.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  • Due to restrictions in travel, several of Yamaha‘s MotoGP staff are frequently staying in Andorra in the breaks between the back-to-back rounds. On this occasion, after taking the usual PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test on Monday before the planned departure from Andorra, one member of Yamaha‘s engineering staff received a positive test result for Covid-19 on the Tuesday. The other five members of the YMC engineers group received negative test results.
  • 24 hours later a further test was done to double-check the first test results. The test results were identical, confirming the initial positive Covid-19 test result for one member and negative results for the other five members.
  • As a consequence, all six YMC engineers in this travel group are now self-isolating in Andorra and will not be attending the upcoming race weekend in Le Mans, France.
  • Yamaha Motor Racing Srl is currently arranging for alternative staff to come to Le Mans during the coming days to support the riders at the French GP.
  • YZR-M1 Project Leader Takahiro Sumi and the five GP support engineers will stay in touch with the team staff at the Le Mans track using the new communications tools that the team has used since the restart of this Covid-19 affected 2020 MotoGP racing season. This new communications system allows them to stay remotely connected with the team crew and the riders in the pit box before, during, and after each session on track. Thanks to this technical solution, the self-isolating engineers will still be able to share their expertise and offer their best support to the staff present in Le Mans.
  • The infected engineer does not currently show signs of illness but will continue to be monitored by his colleagues and medical staff in Andorra.
  • The situation will be reviewed in the middle of next week with a view to the group‘s participation at the coming MotoGP events in Aragon, Spain.
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