Ex-MotoGP rider Jonas Folger to make WorldSBK wild-card debut

Three years after illness put a halt to his burgeoning MotoGP career, Jonas Folger is preparing to make his WorldSBK debut in Barcelona next month

Jonas Folger - MGM Yamaha [credit: IDM Superbike]

Jonas Folger will become the latest in a long line of seasoned grand prix racers to make an appearance in the WorldSBK Championship after securing a wild-card slot for the upcoming round at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The German rider has maintained a low profile since striding onto the big stage in 2017 with a move to MotoGP on the Tech 3 Yamaha, Folger immediately looking at home on the larger machinery to score a handful of top ten results, including a hugely popular second place finish at his home Sachsenring round.

However, Folger’s MotoGP dreams were brought to a shuddering halt when he was diagnosed with Gilbert’s Syndrome, putting him out of the concluding 2017 rounds before he was forced to also withdraw from the entire 2018 campaign too.

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A debilitating illness that saps energy and makes it particularly difficult to train or sustain the stamina for an entire race weekend, the road to recovery has been a slow one for Folger but he appears to be getting back to full fitness.

After a handful of Moto2 outings last year, Folger has signed up for the German-based IDM Superbike series on a Yamaha R1 under the Team Benovo Action by MGM Racing team. With the opener at Assen just completed, Folger marked his debut with a pair of dominant wins.

He will now head to Barcelona looking to get back on terms with his international counterparts around a venue he will actually know better than most since its making its debut on the 2020 WorldSBK schedule.

“I am really happy to make my debut in World Superbike. It’s a very interesting class and I really like to ride the 1000cc motorcycles. 

“With many riders already in this category that I have been racing in the past, the level is really high in WorldSBK. After such a long time not racing in the World Championship, I’m really looking forward to it!”