Motorcycling: Nozane replaces stricken Folger for Japanese MotoGP
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[October 12, 2017]
(Reuters) - Local rider Kohta
Nozane will replace Jonas Folger for Sunday's Japanese MotoGP race
at Motegi after the German suffered a mystery energy-sapping
illness, the Tech3 Yamaha team said on Thursday.
Folger's participation in the following two rounds is also uncertain
after he was told to return home to Munich immediately for medical
"He has a disease but we donít know exactly what it is," said team
manager Herve Poncharal in a statement. "If there is anything good
about this situation, it is that we now know why he has been so weak
since the summer break.
"The more he trained, the worse he felt, and the peak of the problem
was on Tuesday and Wednesday where he had to stay in bed because he
couldnít even walk."
Folger, a MotoGP rookie and only German in the top flight of grand
prix motorcycling, said even leaving his hotel room had been
"Iíve had Epstein-Barr virus in the past and itís a possibility that
this has flared up again and resurfaced, but we canít be sure until
Iíve had these tests in Munich," added the rider.
Epstein-Barr causes mononucleosis, which can leave the sufferer
feeling tired for weeks or months.
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Caroline Garcia of France reacts. REUTERS/Jason Lee
Nozane has never raced in MotoGP, although he competed in Moto2 in
2012 as a wild card in Japan, but is a Yamaha test rider with world
endurance experience and knows Motegi well.
Folger is currently 10th in the MotoGP standings. Australia and
Malaysia follow directly on from the race in Japan with Valencia
ending the season on Nov. 12.
Poncharal said it was 99 percent certain the rider would also miss
Australia and it was too early to say when he might return.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Toby Davis)
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