Moto2 rider Jorge Martin to miss Misano after COVID diagnosis, but…

Jorge Martin becomes the first rider in the MotoGP paddock to test positive for COVID-19, forced out of at least the San Marino MotoGP weekend at Misano

Jorge Martin - Red Bull Ajo KTM

Moto2 title contender Jorge Martin has been ruled out of this weekend’s San Marino MotoGP event after testing positive for COVID-19, the first rider in the paddock to do so.

However, it’s not all bad news at the moment for the Spaniard as he is reportedly just days away from being confirmed as a Pramac Ducati rider for the 2021 MotoGP season.

Martin, currently third in the Moto2 standings after six races, was one of two people who to be flagged as positive, together with a mechanic from an unnamed team. Dorna confirms both were prevented from entering the paddock.

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From a Moto2 title contending perspective it’s bad news for the Red Bull KTM Ajo rider as not only could he miss this event, but he is also a risk for the second of the Misano races to be held next weekend too. He is currently eight points adrift off current leader Enea Bastianini.

However, Martin is nonetheless all-but-certain to be on his way to MotoGP after signing a contract with Ducati to join its Pramac Racing team.

"I'm trying to get to MotoGP as early as next year,” he said in a recent interview. “I'm almost close, but I still need good results to prove I'm worthy. This is my goal. In the meantime, I have to try to win the title in Moto2.

“The victory in Austria made his path towards MotoGP even more achievable. " I think 95% will be in MotoGP next year, or at the latest in two years. Also because, maybe this year I have the chance to win in Moto2, so now I'm really focused on this goal.”

Indeed, Martin’s MotoGP deal is thought to have been signed already with the delay in confirming down to Ducati resolving how else to divide its remaining seats.

As it stands, Pecco Bagnaia is expected to get the nod to replace Andrea Dovizioso in the works outfit, with Martin’s Moto2 rival Bastianini expected to be chosen over Luca Marini for the second Pramac Ducati seat.

2020 standout Johann Zarco, meanwhile, is set to remain with Avintia Ducati but could receive more support following his excellent performances on the unfancied privateer bike.