MOTEGI, Japan – Yamaha’s German rider Jonas Folger withdrew on Thursday from the upcoming Japanese MotoGP race scheduled for the weekend due to illness.
Folger, 24, had to pull out of the 16th race of the MotoGP championship after doctors advised him to return immediately to Munich to undergo medical tests.
“I came to Japan and was motivated for these three flyaway races, but I’ve been feeling really weak since the Misano and Aragon rounds,” he said in a team statement.
He said that doctors who checked him “have advised me to return to Germany right away for a series of blood tests.”
Japanese Kohta Nozane would race for Yamaha at the Twin Ring circuit, replacing Folger, the team announced.
The 21-year-old Nozane said he was surprised to be chosen to compete at his home soil.
Nozane made his debut in majors in 2012, by invitation, in the Moto2 Japanese race.
Folger could be struggling again with mononucleosis, which he suffered from in 2012.
“I’ve had Epstein Barr virus in the past and it’s a possibility that this has flared up again and resurfaced, but we can’t be sure until I’ve had these tests in Munich,” he added, referring to the virus that causes mononucleosis.
Folger holds the 10th spot in the MotoGP World Standings 2017 with 84 points, 140 points behind Spanish defending champion and leader Marc Marquez with four races – including the Japanese GP – to go until the championship’s end.