Jonas Folger will miss this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix to return to Germany for medical checks due to illness, and will likely miss the remaining flyaway MotoGP races.
The German complained of feeling weak during the Misano and Aragon races, and has seen his condition worsen since arriving to Japan for this weekend’s 15th round at Motegi.
Having had to miss several Yamaha events this week, Folger went for a check-up at the Clinica Mobile at the circuit and was advised to return home to Germany to undergo blood tests – the Tech3 rider believes it could be Epstein Barr virus, which he has suffered with in the past.
As a result, he will miss the race at Motegi and will likely be absent for the Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix in the coming fortnight.
“I came to Japan and was motivated for these three flyaway races, but I’ve been feeling really weak since the Misano and Aragon rounds,” he said.
“On arrival here, I have been struggling with my energy levels; even leaving the hotel room was impossible for me.
“Unfortunately, I had to miss some Yamaha events, which I’m very sorry for.
“I met with Herve (Poncheral, Tech3 team boss) on Wednesday night and we agreed to go for a check with the doctors this morning.
“I met with Dr Charte and the Clinica Mobile team and they have advised me to return to Germany right away for a series of blood tests.
“I’ve had Epstein Barr virus in the past and it’s a possibility that this has flared up again and resurfaced, but we can’t be sure until I’ve had these tests in Munich.
“I’m really sorry for my whole team and Yamaha at their home race, and would like to thank them for all their support.
“Also sorry to my personal sponsors, I appreciate them all standing by me at this difficult time.
“Now we must remain positive and aim to come back stronger.”
Folger will be replaced this weekend by Yamaha test rider Kohta Nozane, who was one of the names linked with riding in place of Valentino Rossi at the Aragon race. This will be 21-year-old Nozane‘s MotoGP debut.
With 33 points separating Folger in tenth and team-mate Johann Zarco in sixth in the standings, the German’s absence should see Zarco take top rookie honours this season.