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Argentina MotoGP | Jonas Folger returns to MotoGP, replaces Espargaro at GASGAS

GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3

Jonas Folger will make a welcome return to the MotoGP World Championship grid this weekend after being called up to deputise for the injured Pol Espargaro in the GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 team in the Grand Prix of The Americas

Espargaro remains in hospital a week on from his accident during the Portuguese MotoGP P2 session, the Spaniard sustaining a fractured vertebrae and a jaw injury that necessitated surgery at the Dexeus Hospital in Barcelona on Tuesday.

As such, Tech3 Racing has turned to one of its former MotoGP riders in Folger to assume Espargaro’s vacant seat on the GASGAS branded KTM RC16 for round three at Circuit of The Americas.


The German raced with the French based team back in 2017 when it operated as a satellite Yamaha entry.

Going on to pick up a maiden podium in his home Sachsenring event on the Yamaha M1, Folger burgeoning MotoGP career was all-but-ruined upon receiving a diagnosis for the Gilbert’s Syndrome, an energy-debilitating illness.

Forced into a lengthy hiatus, Folger only returned to full-time racing in 2020, eventually making his international comeback in 2021 with a season spent in the WorldSBK Championship.

Since then, however, Folger has assumed a testing role with KTM alongside Dani Pedrosa and Mika Kallio, a position that has paved the way for what will be his first MotoGP race start since the 2017 Aragon MotoGP.

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

With Espargaro set for an extended period out of action to recover, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 boss Nicolas Goyon is delighted to welcome Folger back into the fold alongside rookie Augusto Fernandez.

“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. 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.”

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