MotoGP: Jonas Folger set for return with GASGAS Tech3 as Pol Espargaro continues recovery

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Jonas Folger will make his MotoGP return at the Circuit of the Americas in April as a replacement for the injured Pol Espargaro at GasGas Tech3 Racing.

The German hasn’t competed in MotoGP since 2017, when he rode for the Tech3 team on Yamaha machinery. Folger’s standout performance came at his home Grand Prix at Sachsenring, finishing second behind Marc Marquez.

Unfortunately, Folger’s maiden year came to a premature end due to health reasons, with the 125cc, Moto3 and Moto2 race winner later diagnosed with Gilbert’s Syndrome, a genetic condition that prevents the liver from correctly processing bilirubin.

Folger returned to full-time racing in 2020 and was crowned German IDM Superbike Champion with Yamaha before moving into the World Superbike Championship with Bonovo BMW the following year. However, a tough campaign followed, and Folger departed at the end of the year.

Jonan Folger and Tech3 celebrate finishing second at Sachsenring in 2017

Folger joined KTM, which owns GASGAS, earlier this year as a test rider, joining Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kalio on the Austrian brand’s test team.

“First of all I really hope Pol is doing well and getting back on his feet as soon as possible,” Folger said. “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.”

Augusto Fernandez will be the team’s sole representative this weekend in Argentina, a round which Marc Marquez, Miguel Oliveira and Enea Bastianini will all miss through injury.

“It’s clear Pol needs time to make a full recovery and our thoughts are still with him and we are in contact all the time,’ Team Manager, Nicolas Goyon added. “Until he is ready though Jonas’ testing role together with his recent MotoGP experience meant he is the perfect fill-in.

“We had some good memories with him a few years ago and he tested with us in Sepang this pre-season. He’s a great guy and we’re delighted to welcome him back.”