The good news for Monster Yamaha rider Jonas Folger is that the debilitating condition that ruled him out of the last four races of the season has now been diagnosed.
The bad news is that he also suffered another injury affecting his vocal cords when he crashed at Aragon, the last race in which he took part, which could take up to two years for recovery.
Folger flew home in the days before the Japanese GP, after coming close to a state of collapse, virtually bed-ridden in his hotel. After extensive medical tests in Germany, he has been diagnosed with Gilbert’s Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the liver’s ability to process toxins.
While not in itself too serious or even uncommon, if untreated the situation allows a build-up of toxins in the body, which is what happened to Folger.
At first a recurrence of a different condition, the Epstein Barr virus, was suspected, but a statement from the rider suggested that this had been wrong all along.
“This has been an underlying condition that has plagued Jonas for several years, but had never been diagnosed properly. Prior to the Japanese GP, it had escalated to a point where his entire body shut down,” the statement read.
The initial treatment will be complete detoxification, and in future a special diet will be required.
His place was taken at Valencia by Yamaha Superbike rider Michael van der Mark, for a second race in a row.
By Michael Scott