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Rossi cleared to race at Valencia GP after COVID-19 scare

FILE PHOTO: MotoGP - Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Misano, Italy - September 19, 2020 Monster Energy Yamaha's Valentino Rossi before qualifying REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

(Reuters) - Seven-times MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has been cleared to race at this weekend’s Valencia Grand Prix after a second consecutive negative test result for COVID-19, his Yamaha team said on Thursday.

Rossi, 41, returned a “positive with very low viral load” COVID-19 result on Tuesday, but tested negative for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Both follow-up tests came back negative for the COVID-19 virus, confirming Rossi’s attendance for this race weekend,” Yamaha said in a statement.

The Italian earlier missed two races at Spain’s MotorLand Aragon circuit in October after contracting the virus but was cleared to race in the European GP last weekend, where he pulled out on lap five due to a mechanical failure.

Rossi has not finished a race since the San Marino Grand Prix at Misano at the start of September and sits 15th in the championship standings with 58 points.

Suzuki’s Joan Mir holds a 37-point lead in the championship heading into the penultimate race in Valencia on Sunday.

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis