MotoGP rider Jonas Folger has announced his withdrawal from the 2018 MotoGP season, unable to recover from the illness which sidelined the German for the last four rounds of the 2017 championship.
The Monster Yamaha Tech3 man was diagnosed with a rare strain of Gilbert Syndrome, a genetic disorder which prevents the liver from its ability to process toxins.
After being bed ridden in the lead up to the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix, the 24-year-old flew home where tests eventually uncovered his condition. And while he worked hard to be prepared for the 2018 season, his expected recovery didn’t happen.
“I’m incredibly sad to be saying this, but I will not be racing MotoGP in 2018,” Folger said. “I wasn’t able to make the improvements I was hoping for, and at this stage I don’t feel able to ride a MotoGP machine at 100 percent.”
Team manager Herve Poncheral said the news came via a phone call from Folger’s manager and confirmed he is yet to name a replacement for the 2018 season.
“It is still very difficult for me to believe he’s not going to race with us in 2018, especially because he has been somebody I had lot of faith in and I was sure we would reach top level together,” Poncheral said.