Jonas Folger has been confirmed as the new Europe-based test rider for Yamaha, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales weighed in on the decision at Misano – with both pretty thrilled about it. Rossi may even have had a hand in it…
“I’m very happy about this decision,” says the ‘Doctor’, who also used Folger’s data during the German GP to give him some pointers. “I pushed a lot with Massimo for Folger because, for me, Folger has a very good talent, but especially because he’s a young rider and not an ex-rider. This means he can ride the M1 in a similar way to me and Maverick and he can do a good job, especially with electronics, and that’s important for Yamaha.”
And Maverick? Almost a carbon copy in praising the German’s pace.
“He should be racing in MotoGP, not a test rider,” begins the Spaniard, although he’s aware the grid’s loss in terms of a full-time competitor could most definitely be Yamaha’s gain. “It’s great to have Jonas because he’s very fast and he has experience on the Yamaha.”
Personally, too, Viñales thinks it’s a good move: “He’s a good guy, and I have a good feeling with him.”
So when will Folger get started? He was at their recent private test at Aragon to get accustomed to their way of working - stay tuned for updates throughout the season!