MotoGP news: Rossi, Vinales praise "hero" coronavirus health workers

Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales have praised frontline healthcare workers battling coronavirus worldwide, branding them "heroes"

MotoGP news: Rossi, Vinales praise "hero" coronavirus health workers

The COVID-19 pandemic has infected more than 2.5million people worldwide and killed over 170,000, with much of the world locked-down as governments impose strict measures to help quell the spread of the deadly disease.

The lockdowns have greatly impacted world sport, with the 2020 MotoGP season losing its first 11 rounds as a result and is not likely to begin until August at the earliest.

The disease has pushed healthcare systems across the world to breaking point, while many frontline hospital and care staff are being forced to isolate away from their families.

In a Yamaha-organised social media interview on Saturday, both Rossi and Vinales offered touching tributes to those workers across the globe.

"The situation is difficult for everybody in all the world, but for sure for some people it's more difficult - especially the people who work on the frontline," Rossi said.

"So, for them, [lockdown] is not just boring, it's also dangerous to try to help save a lot of lives.

"So, a big support from me, a big virtual hug and you are our heroes in this period. Thanks a lot and don't give up."

Vinales added: "As Valentino said, right now the heroes are all the personnel who are trying to fight against the coronavirus.

"I can say that always in the darkness we can find a little bit of light.

"And that's the target, to find all the good things and find all the positive things, because right now the situation is actually so hard.

"I see many families, grandparents that have the COVID, and for sure it's a very difficult situation."

Both Rossi and Vinales have been involved in relief efforts in Italy and Spain, with the former donating to hospitals, while Vinales has helped distribute COVID-19 test kits to his local community.

"For me it was important because if someone had the chance to do [donate tests], and for example if my grandfather got sick because something went wrong, and I lost him and someone could have done [something] and didn't do it, I would get very angry," said Vinales.

"So, there was no way [I couldn't]. I do it for my town, for my people, and also my family because they are from there.

"But we also try to help some hospitals in Gerona and Figueres, where I was born, trying to give them material, trying to supply them with everything.

"Every little thing is good for everyone, so for sure I try to help them."

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