Nozane to replace Folger at Motegi

Home hero steps in as German returns home for further medical checks

Monster Yamaha Tech 3's Jonas Folger will sit out the Japanese GP and return immediately to his native Germany for medical checks. The Clinica Mobile medical staff examined Folger on Wednesday and recommended that he undertake further tests in Munich, with his participation in the next two rounds being doubtful. The entire team have wished the German a swift and full recovery, with Yamaha test rider Kohta Nozane then called up to replace Folger.

Jonas Folger: "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. On arrival here, I have been struggling with my energy levels, even leaving the hotel room was impossible for me, and unfortunately, I had to miss some Yamaha events, which I’m very sorry for. I met with Hervé 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."

Nozane, a Yamaha test rider and a member of the YART team in the Endurance World Championship, has ridden the track before in his testing duties for the Japanese factory - and says it's his favourite track. It will be his first time racing in the premier class.

Kohta Nozane: "This is big surprise for me! I still can’t believe that I will ride at the Grand Prix of Japan. Motegi is my favourite circuit, and I have ridden the YZR-M1 with Michelin tyres here before as a Yamaha test rider. It will be an honour to ride on home soil like a MotoGP rider. I would like to thank Yamaha and Monster Yamaha Tech3 for giving me this opportunity."