Jonas Folger will replace Pol Espargarò starting from Grand Prix of the Americas, which will take place on the weekend of April 16th. The German rider has been a test rider for KTM this year and will have the opportunity to gain more confidence with the RC16.
A bad injury
Espargarò had crashed during free practice for the Portuguese GP in Portimao, suffering a pulmonary contusion and breaking a vertebrae in his back and jaw, after he crashed into the barriers on the exit of turn 10. Folger will take his place at Austin and most likely in subsequent races as well. The Spaniard returned to Barcelona last weekend where he underwent jaw surgery. The procedure was performed this Tuesday at the Dexeus hospital. Back home, he’ll need to rest before planning a time frame to get back on the bike.
A talented German
Jonas Folger raced for several years in Moto2 before moving to Yamaha in 2017, where he raced with the Tech3 team. Many will remember him for that year’s German Grand Prix, when he took a spectacular second place behind Marc Marquez and ahead of Dani Pedrosa. On that occasion, the factory riders Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi finished fourth and fifth, more than ten seconds behind the home rider.
Folger raced 155 races in the world championship, with 5 victories and a fifth place finish as his best result (in the 2013 Moto3 championship). His last season as a rider was in 2021 in Superbike, but he didn’t shine with BMW.
The German is thrilled to return, and to find many technicians in the garage – plus owner Hervé Poncharal – dating back to his adventure in Tech3. “First of all I really hope that Pol is well and that he recovers as soon as possible. I’m sure he has the right people around him. From my side, I can’t wait to get back on track in Texas to see all the guys from my old team.”
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