MotoGP: Van der Mark gets Folger replacement call

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Michael van der Mark will finally get his chance to make his MotoGP debut this weekend at the Malaysian Grand Prix, a month later than first intended as he joins the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad to replace the unwell Jonas Folger.

Originally scheduled to make his debut last month at Aragon to replace the injured Valentino Rossi, in the end a miraculous recovery from the nine-time world champion saw him sit out the weekend’s action.

But with Folger suffering from a mystery illness and replaced first in Japan at the last minute by Yamaha test rider Kohta Nozane and then last weekend in Australia by Yamaha endurance rider Broc Parkes while van der Mark was on WSB duty, the Dutchman will finally get his chance to make his premier class debut come Sunday’s race at Sepang.

“It goes without saying that I am really excited. I came quite close to getting the opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike a few weeks ago, but it didn’t work out. Then Hervé called, and although I will have a busy schedule, I could not say no to this chance. I am very happy and I look forward to this adventure.

“Luckily, I know Sepang, but the MotoGP riders have done a lot of tests there this year, so everyone will be fast. However, I just want to enjoy this weekend, to improve myself and see how it is to ride the YZR-M1. At the moment, we have some good momentum in WSB so I think it is the perfect time to jump on the Yamaha. I look forward to riding the bike and I want to thank Hervé and Yamaha for this opportunity.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer