Jonas Folger 'shocked' at Yamaha test role departure
Ex-MotoGP star Jonas Folger has been cut from Yamaha’s European test squad with immediate effect, the German announced in a statement on his personal website.
Folger has held the role since the beginning of the 2019 season after sitting out ’18 through illness, but says that he has been dropped because Yamaha “decided that their test programme should again be carried out exclusively by Japanese drivers.”
The multiple time Moto2 race winner revealed that he has no further plans for 2020 as he had “cancelled all other plans for next year” due to have reaching a verbal agreement with the Japanese factory recently.
"This bad news has come as a surprise for me,” began Folger’s statement.
“I had the verbal agreement that Yamaha wants to continue with me and even expand this project.
“We were already talking about what the test plan and other missions might look like. But then suddenly came the rejection, although I was promised that I should soon receive the contract. But it was decided that their test program should again be carried out exclusively by Japanese drivers.
“The disappointment is great, of course, because I stiffened completely on this project and cancelled all other options for next year.
“Too bad, it would have been a very interesting challenge and at the same time a versatile task which I would have been very happy. In the role of the test driver I've also learned a lot so far. But at the moment I do not know how to continue my career.
“There are not many reasonable options at this late stage."
Folger competed in a sole premier class campaign with Yamaha satellite outfit Tech 3 in ’17, scoring a sensational second place at home in Germany as his best result before missing the final four events through an injury sustained at Aragon.
He then pulled out from his sophomore year with the team due to illness, and only returned to competition this year as a replacement for the injured Khairul Idham Pawi at the Petronas SRT Moto2 squad.
He competed in five races for the team, scoring a pair of 17th place results as his best at Assen and the Sachsenring.