Folger to replace Smith at Tech 3

Following Bradley Smith's decision to join KTM at the end of the 2016 MotoGP season, the monster Tech 3 Yamaha Team have announced Moto2 rider Jonas Folger will be joining them ahead of their home GP.

Folger to replace Smith at Tech 3
Folger to join MotoGP class in place of Bradley Smith. (Photo:

Moto2 rider Jonas Folger joined the Dynavolt Intact GP team who expanded their team to run with two riders for the 2015 season. The German rider has immediately been competitive aboard the Kalex and has caught the eye of the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha Team who are in need of a rider at the end of the season.

Smith moving to KTM

Bradley Smith recently announced that he would be leaving the Tech 3 MotoGP team to take on a factory seat for KTM who will be joining the MotoGP field in the 2017 season. The RC-16 bike is currently in testing stages with riders Mika Kallio and Randy De Puniet, however they are yet to complete a dry testing session.

With Smith leaving after four years, the Monster Tech 3 Yamaha team needed to introduce another rider and so decided to promote Folger from the Moto2 field to MotoGP as of next season. He will be joining Pol Espargaro who for now is set to continue at the French team.

Smith will be joining KTM next season. (Photo: East News/Rex)
Smith will be joining KTM next season. (Photo: East News/Rex)

"Folger came out on top"

Herve Ponchoral spoke of how it is, “Always a very important and tought decision to make when it’s time for us to choose a young rider to start his career in the MotoGP class”. They spoke highly of Brad who has “done a great job” for the team but felt that, “Having thoroughly checked all the names and details of the young riders in various championships, the name Jonas Folger came out on top.”

The 22-year old has signed a one year deal with the French team, Poncharal described the German rider as, “a nice person, very fast” and spoke positively about him saying “He is going to have a strong season in Moto2 this year, where he will hopefully with the title.” He described this achievement for Folger as a “dream situation”.

However he did comment that, “It will be difficult to predict what will happen” when Folger joins the MotoGP team who currently have are the fastest out of the independent riders. He knows that “some riders adapt instantly” and that others need “some time”. Judging by Folger’s performance so far with his new team this season he may be able to adapt quickly, Poncharal is certain that “He will be fast, have fun and become a strong Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider.”

Poncharal finished by saying, “I’d like to welcome him and I want to assure Jonas that the whole team and Yamaha Factory Racing are very happy that he will join us and for sure, everyone will do their best to assist him in moving forward in the top class.”

Folger is super excited about opportunity

Folger is “super excited” about the news and is still in disbelief of his future saying, “To make the move up to the premier class is a dream come true.” He is extremely grateful towards his sponsors who have, “stuck by” him for “all of these years”.  Folger describes his move as an “honor” and is admiral of their “long and deep history in the paddock”. He is determined to impress and said, “I will try my absolute best to repay the faith the team has put in me, and I’m really looking forward to the new adventure.”

This move is coming very soon in the season though as MotoGP riders contracts are expiring and news of many moves are expected over the coming rounds. Folger still has a Moto2 Championship in his sights with the Dynavolt Intact MotoGP Team and said, “However, I will remain completely focused for the rest of the year in the intermediate class but I can’t wait for Valencia where I will sample the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time.