Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Jonas Folger, who hasn’t raced since Aragon in late September due to “illness,” has an answer for what has been ailing him.
After illness forced the 24-year-old German to miss the Japanese Grand Prix and subsequent races in Australia and Malaysia, tests conducted in Munich discovered a strain of Gilbert Syndrome, a genetic disorder where the liver cannot effectively process toxins. Monster Yamaha Tech 3 reports Folger has felt symptoms as an underlying condition for several years, but prior to the Japanese GP it escalated to the point where his body shut down and he was bed-ridden.
Folger is undergoing a cleansing of the body to help flush toxins from his system, and he’ll require a special diet from now on.
Unfortunately for Folger, he’s also working to overcome a second malady. He sustained a serious vocal cord injury from a crash in Aragon. A specialist diagnosed a damaged nerve in his right vocal cords, which could take 1-2 years to return to normal.
Despite the diagnoses, Folger is determined to return to MotoGP.
“It’s a huge relief that we now have a clear understanding of the situation and how to move forward,” Folger said. “The past six weeks have been very difficult for me, not knowing what’s happening or why my body shut down completely. I’ve been living with elements of this since 2011 but I’ve always been able to overcome it and we never really knew what it was. It’s unfortunate that it took such a serious episode to finally diagnose the situation but I’m just thankful we now have some answers.
“I miss my team and all my friends in the paddock. I’ve received a lot of support from everyone on social media, not just fans but my competitors also and this means a lot to me. I’d like to thank everyone at Monster Yamaha Tech3 and all my sponsors for their belief in me, and messages of support. I will be back and stronger than ever, fighting at the top of MotoGP.”
Subbing for Folger so far have been Kohta Nozane (Motegi), Broc Parkes (Phillip Island) and Michael van der Mark at Sepang and this weekend’s Valencia season finale.