With the current pandemic spanning the globe, sporting events are being cancelled across the board. Football is on hold until further notice, most of the Formula 1 season has been cancelled, and MotoGP has had to put their races on hold as well. All of these major sporting events have been trying to find new ways to give the fans content that could fill the gap, at least temporarily; F1 has taken to streaming iconic races and now MotoGP has decided they will host a Virtual Race featuring some of the sport's biggest names.
When this event was first announced the headline stars featured were Valentino Rossi and Marc Marquez, easily the two biggest names the sport has ever seen. Alongside these two there were plans for eight other racers, meaning a total of 10 would be featured. The event is set to take place on Sunday, March 29, and will be streamed across multiple sites, and it will include both the qualifying and the race itself.
However, in a recent press release, Dorna Sports (the MotoGP promoter) has confirmed that Valentino Rossi will no longer be participating in the event, although no news was given as to why #46 has pulled out of the event.
"Despite earlier confirmation of participation, #46 Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha Racing) will not feature," we were told.
It's disappointing news for fans of the sport who were excited to see The Doctor in action on the virtual scene. Despite this setback, the event is still set to be a hit with 10 big stars taking part.
The full list of drivers still attending the event are as follows:
Repsol Honda Team: Marc Marquez, Alex Marquez
Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP: Maverick Viñales
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini: Aleix Espargaro
Team Suzuki Ecstar: Alex Rins, Joan Mir
Petronas Yamaha SRT: Fabio Quartararo
Red Bull KTM Tech 3: Iker Lecuona, Miguel Oliveira
Pramac Racing: Francesco Bagnaia