Jonas Folger will make a comeback to MotoGP racing action at the Americas Grand Prix in place of injured Pol Espargaro at the GasGas team.
Former Tech3 Yamaha rider and podium finisher at the German Grand Prix Jonas Folger will make his first appearance in MotoGP racing since 2017 in the upcoming Grand Prix of the Americas and beyond as he rejoins his former squad to fill in for the injured Pol Espargaro.
Folger joined Mika Kallio and Dani Pedrosa as a MotoGP test rider when it was revealed earlier this year that he would be a part of Gas Gas mother company KTM.
The German was one of the first names mentioned as a substitute for Espargaro when it became clear the degree of his injuries from his practice crash in Portimao given Pedrosa had declared he had no intention of returning to racing and Kallio was now over 40 years old.
The announcement was made during the Argentina Grand Prix on Friday morning, with Folger returning to the grid for the Austin race in two weeks.
“First of all I really hope Pol is doing well and getting back on his feet as soon as possible,” said Folger. “I’m sure he has the right people around him.”
“From my side I’m looking forward to racing again and arriving to Texas to see all the guys from my old team… I hope we can do a decent job and I know it will be a big challenge for me since testing has only just started.”
“However, this will be a great opportunity to get up to speed and learn more about the bike.”
“I’m thankful and now looking to Texas.”
Folger’s career was cut short after only three-quarters of his debut season with Tech 3 back in 2017 despite having achieved great results, so the possibility to return to the MotoGP grid will be great news.
The German Grand Prix was Folger’s career high point after he joined Tech3 alongside Johann Zarco. There, he faced off against Marc Marquez, the undisputed King of the Sachsenring, and embroiled in a battle for the victory with the Repsol Honda rider, who had never lost in Germany. Folger ultimately came in second securing a podium victory.
A diagnosis of Gilbert’s syndrome, a genetic liver illness that required Folger to take a break from the series to bring it under control, however, caused him to leave the sport.
The 29-year old has tried numerous times, with different teams, to participate again in Moto2 and World Superbikes, but none of those attempts have quite been successful for him.