Contrary to what Francesco Guidotti revealed last weekend in Portimao, the GasGas Factory Racing Tech3 will compete with one bike only this weekend in Termas de Rio Hondo, but will return to double its RC16 starting from the halfway April.
The KTM team manager had explained that Pol Espargaro would not be replaced for the two races following the Portuguese Grand Prix as a sign of respect, given that he is struggling with an injury sustained in the very bad accident of the second free practice session, in which had come to violently hit the barriers after a high-speed highside.
The Granollers rider returned to Barcelona last weekend, where he underwent surgery on his broken jaw. The surgery was performed on Tuesday at the Dexeus hospital. He will be under observation for a couple of days and hopes to go home soon, when he will be able to intensify his physiotherapy and define the times to get back on the bike.
Pol Espargaro, Tech3 GASES Factory Racing crash
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
In the meantime, however, Jonas Folger will ride his RC16, making his return to racing in the premier class after more than five years. Just when he was defending the colors of the Tech3 team, then riding a Yamaha, he stopped at the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix, when he was diagnosed with Gilbert’s Syndrome.
Since then he has made a few World Superbike appearances, admittedly without making an impact, and has played the role of MotoGP test rider first for Yamaha and now for the Austrian marque. In Austin, however, there will be a great opportunity for the German to return to racing.
“First of all I hope Pol is well and gets back on his feet as soon as possible. I’m sure he has the right people around him. For my part, I can’t wait to get back to racing and get to Texas to review all the guys from my old team!” said Folger, who can also boast a MotoGP podium in his career, obtained in the Sachsenring race in 2017.
“I hope we can do a good job and I know it will be a big challenge for me, as the tests have just started. However, this will be a great opportunity to get familiar with the bike and get to know it better. I am grateful and now I’m looking at Texas,” he concluded.
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