Jonas Folger will replace Pol Espargaro at Tech3 GASGAS for the MotoGP round at the Circuit of the Americas.
GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 are counting the days until Pol Espargaro is ready to return to his RC16 but in the meantime, and from the Grand Prix of the Americas at COTA in mid-April, the team and brand will count on the speed and experience of former MotoGP podium finisher Jonas Folger.
The 29-year-old German will make his first MotoGP appearance since 2017 and since stepping into the role as an official test rider. Jonas previously represented the Tech3 setup – scoring a thrilling runner-up result at his home Grand Prix – so knows the crew and the culture.
Pol Espargaro travelled back to Barcelona last weekend where he had surgery on his jaw. The procedure was performed on Tuesday at the Dexeus Hospital. He’ll remain under observation for a couple of days and is hopeful of being home soon when he’ll be able to step up his physiotherapy and define a timeframe to get back in the saddle.
GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 will power into this weekend’s Gran Premio Michelin de la Republica Argentina with Augusto Fernandez looking to attack the time sheets at Termas de Rio Hondo.
Jonas Folger: “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.”
Nicolas Goyon, GASGAS Factory Racing Tech3 Team Manager: “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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[Note: The story is as per press release]