MotoGP: Folger illness diagnosed

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The mystery illness that led to Jonas Folger missing the final three Grand Prix of the 2017 season has finally been diagnosed after the German underwent extensive tests at home in Germany.

The rookie MotoGP star pulled out of the Japanese Grand Prix five weeks ago after the illness left him zapped of energy, returning home to seek medical advice. It’s said that the German’s entire body shut down rendering him bed ridden ahead of the weekend’s action getting underway.

At the time it was suspected he was suffering from Epstein Barr disease, but it has now been confirmed that he has a strain of Gilbert Syndrome, a common genetic disorder affecting 2-5% of the population, where the liver is unable to process toxins effectively.
The Tech 3 team have revealed the condition is something that has plagued Folger for many years, but he had never been diagnosed properly until now.

He’s presently undergoing a complete detoxification and cleansing of the body to help flush his liver and disperse all toxins and moving forward he will have to adapt to a special diet.


It’s also been revealed that Folger sustained a damaged nerve in the right vocal chords after a crash in Aragon, which could take 1-2 years to return to normal.

“It’s a huge relief that we now have a clear understanding of the situation and how to move forward,” Folger said.

“The past six weeks have been very difficult for me, not knowing what’s happening or why my body shut down completely. I’ve been living with elements of this since 2011 but I’ve always been able to overcome it and we never really knew what it was.

“It’s unfortunate that it took such a serious episode to finally diagnose the situation but I’m just thankful we now have some answers. I miss my team and all my friends in the paddock. I’ve received a lot of support from everyone on social media, not just fans but my competitors and also this means a lot to me.

“I’d like to thank Monster Yamaha Tech3 and all my sponsors for their belief in me, and messages of support. I will be back and stronger than ever, fighting at the top of MotoGP.”

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing