Yonny Hernandez will step in during the first pre-season MotoGP test in Sepang due to Jonas Folger’s unexpected withdrawal from the 2018 MotoGP season.
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Yonny Hernandez set to step in at Sepang test
The Columbian Yonny Hernandez will replace Jonas Folger at Monster Yamaha Tech3 for the first MotoGP pre-season test at the Sepang International Circuit, kicking off this week. Following the announcement that Folger has to sit out the entire 2018 campaign due to his continuous recovery, the 29-year old Hernandez takes over his Yamaha YZR-M1 for the three days of testing at the Malaysian venue, bringing five years of MotoGP experience. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team intends to reveal a permanent replacement ahead of the second test in Thailand, mid-February.
“First of all, I have to say, that I’m sorry for Jonas Folger. I hope he gets well very soon and back on track again, as he is an incredibly fast and talented rider and I want to wish him all the best. At the same time, I’m obviously happy for myself to get such a fantastic opportunity riding a MotoGP bike again. I’m delighted I can do the test and work with a very good team and machine. I’m truly curious to ride a Yamaha bike, because in all my career I was sitting on a Ducati. I want to thank the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team and especially Herve Poncharal for giving me this unique chance.” – Yonny HERNANDEZ
“Before starting to talk about who will be on our second bike in Sepang, I would like to express one more time how sorry and sad I am, not having Jonas Folger with us in 2018. Having said that, we have to try to overcome this situation the best way we can and everybody knows it’s not easy. On the 20th of January, almost everyone with the required level is already under contract, therefore I am very happy to have found out that Yonny Hernandez was so far without a contract. I know, that he has got some plans and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Pedercini letting Yonny test with us and give him the opportunity to show what he can do on a Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike. I am pleased to give him this possibility to test for three days and with it giving him the chance to show his potential to both, Yamaha Motor Corporation and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Yet, no permanent decision will be taken before we fly back from Sepang. For sure, we will analyze in detail how Yonny performs during this test and obviously, he is one of the riders on our short list for 2018.” – Hervé PONCHARAL, Team manager