News 26 Jan 2018

Hernandez confirmed for Sepang test with Monster Yamaha Tech3

Former premier class regular to trial YZR-M1 this week in Malaysia.

Image: Supplied.

Columbian Yonny Hernandez will replace Jonas Folger at Monster Yamaha Tech3 for this week’s MotoGP test at Sepang in Malaysia.

With Folger forced to sit out of the 2018 season through illness, the Yamaha satellite team has called in 29-year-old former premier class regular for the first test of the season.

“First of all, I have to say, that I’m sorry for Jonas Folger,” Hernandez commented. “I hope he gets well very soon and back on track again, as he is an incredible fast and talented rider and I want to wish him all the best. At the same time, I’m obviously happy for myself to get such a fantastic opportunity riding a MotoGP bike again.

“I’m delighted I can do the test and work with a very good team and machine. I’m truly curious to ride a Yamaha bike, because in all my career I was sitting on a Ducati. I want to thank the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team and especially Herve Poncharal for giving me this unique chance.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team manager Herve Poncharal explained: “Before starting to talk about who will be on our second bike in Sepang, I would like to express one more time how sorry and sad I am not having Jonas Folger with us in 2018. Having said that, we have to try to overcome this situation the best way we can and everybody knows it’s not easy.

“On the 20th of January almost everyone with the required level is already under contract, therefore I am very happy to have found out that Yonny Hernandez was so far without a contract. I know that he has got some plans and I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. [Lucio] Pedercini letting Yonny test with us and give him the opportunity to show what he can do on a Yamaha M1 MotoGP bike.

“I am pleased to give him this possibility to test for three days and with it giving him the chance to show his potential to both, Yamaha Motor Corporation and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Yet, no permanent decision will be taken before we fly back from Sepang. For sure, we will analyse in detail how Yonny performs during this test and obviously, he is one of the riders on our short list for 2018.”

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team intends to reveal a permanent replacement ahead of the second test in Thailand, mid-February. Hernandez has been set to move to the Superbike World Championship with Pedercini Kawasaki for 2018, following a challenging half-season in Moto2 last year. He has also ridden World Endurance with Honda.