Jonas Folger will move up to the MotoGP class in 2017 after signing a one-year contract with Monster Yamaha Tech 3. The German has been on the radar of the French satellite squad for quite some time and will finally make the jump to 1000cc machinery next year with the team having the option of a second year.
Folger currently lies fifth in the Moto2 standings after podium finishes in Argentina and Spain although a crash from the lead in Qatar blotted his copybook. The 22 year old will ride a YZR-M1 for the first time in Valencia in November but is remaining focused on his intermediate class campaign as he aims to bow out as champion.
“I am super excited about the news and I still can’t believe this is happening. I have been racing for years in the motorcycling World Championship and to make the move up to the premier class is a dream come true plus I’d like to thank all my sponsors that have stuck by me all these years. Furthermore, it’s an honour to make this step with Yamaha, Hervé Poncharal and Tech3 team who have such a long and deep history in the paddock. I will try my absolute best to repay the faith the team has put in me, and I’m really looking forward to the new adventure. However, I will remain completely focused for the rest of the year in the intermediate class but I can’t wait for Valencia where I will sample the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time.”
Team Manager Herve Poncharal is delighted to have signed a rider of Folger’s calibre to replace the outgoing Bradley Smith and expects him to prove a success in the premier class.
“It’s always a very important and tough decision to make when it’s time for us to choose a young rider to start his career in the MotoGP class. We have been thinking a lot about who has the best profile to replace Brad, who has done a great job with Tech3 for four years and is now ready to move to a full factory team. Having thoroughly checked all the names and details of the young riders in various championships, the name Jonas Folger came out on top. He’s a nice person, very fast and he is going to have a strong season in Moto2 this year, where he hopefully will win the title which would be the dream situation. I am really pleased to announce that Jonas will join us before our home GP in Le Mans. It may be difficult to predict what will happen, as some riders adapt instantly whilst others need some time, but I am certain that he will be fast, have fun and become a strong Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider. I’d like to welcome him and I want to assure Jonas that the whole team and Yamaha Factory Racing are very happy that he will join us and for sure, everyone will do their best to assist him in moving forward in the top class.”