Van der Mark will ride a MotoGP machine for the first time in Friday's official practice. File photo:

Lesmo, Italy - Yamaha World Superbike rider Michael van der Mark will be riding Valentino Rossi's YZR-M1 at MotorLand Aragon for Round 14.

Rossi is making good progress with his rehabilitation process, but isn't expected to be able to compete again before the Grand Prix of Japan at Motegi in October.

For Aragón, the 2014 World Supersport champion will be backed by Rossi's usual crew. Unlike Alex Lowes, who had the benefit of some testing mileage at Brno in the Czech Republic before taking part in the MotoGP weekends, Van der Mark will debut in the premier class on the YZR-M1 without any prior testing.

Nevertheless, the three-times Suzuka Eight Hours winner is well accustomed to the demands of working for a factory team, and no stranger to the Grand Prix paddock, having competed in seven 125cc Grands Prix in 2010, and in the 2011 Moto2 race at his home circuit of Assen in the Netherlands.

Van der Mark said: "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 first practice without any testing - but I’m sure it will be a great learning experience."

IOL Motoring
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