Bengaluru, September 12: Come September 24, Michael van der Mark will make the big switch from World Superbike Championship to MotoGP after being confirmed as Yamaha's replacement for the recovering Valentino Rossi.
The 24-year-old Dutchman will make his debut in the premier class on the YZR-M1 bike.
Rossi suffered displaced fractures of his right tibia and fibula during an enduro training accident on August 31 and did not compete in his home Grand Prix at Misano.
Yamaha did not name any replacement for Rossi in his home Grand Prix with team-mate Maverick Vinales being the sole rider.
With his recovery taking longer than expected, Van der Mark was named in his place for the AragonGP. Ross is expected to be fit though for the next Grand Prix in Motegi on October 15.
Van der Mark is also no stranger to the MotoGP paddock, having competed in seven 125cc Grands Prix in 2010, and in the 2011 Moto2 race in Assen, the Netherlands. Moreover, his experience in the Superbike and Supersport World Championships, and the European Superstock 600 make him well acquainted with the MotorLand Aragon circuit, having raced there seven times before.
"I'm excited to be given the opportunity to ride the YZR-M1 at the Aragón MotoGP round. I've never ridden a MotoGP bike before, so this will be a completely new experience for me. I'm very curious to see what it feels like to ride on such a machine. I realise that it won't be easy going straight into an official practice session without any prior testing. Nevertheless, I'm very grateful to Yamaha for the opportunity. I'm sure it will be a great learning experience," Van der Merk told the Yamaha website.