Lin Jarvis, Yamaha's motorsport director, says there will be no rush to replace its injured susperstar Valentino Rossi, who broke his right leg in practice at Mugello earlier today.
Jarvis confirmed that Yamaha will continue to field a second works bike alongside championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, but not be drawn on who might ride it. Early speculation has linked Tech 3 Yamaha rider Colin Edwards to a return to the works team.
"We have a contractual obligation to [run the bike]," Jarvis told reporters. "At some point, once we know Valentino's period of recovery, then we'll decide what to do for a replacement."
Jarvis went to see Rossi in the medical centre, along with other leading figures from the Italian's pit crew.
"It's a sad day for the sport, a sad day for the fans," added Jarvis. "It's the worst injury of Valentino's career. Obviously he was a little sedated when I saw him, because of the pain he was in. Then they flew him to hospital, and he will be operated on this afternoon."
Following medical checks at the Careggi Hospital Emergency Center and, afterwards, at the Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico in Florence, Rossi is undergoing surgery on his fractured shinbone.
There are two weeks before the next round of the championship, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 20.
Rossi's crash ended a turbulent week for the seven-time MotoGP champion, as a man was arrested in Italy on Thursday for allegedly issuing death threats against Rossi and his family.