Five-time Grand Prix winner Jonas Folger is gearing up for his maiden FIM Superbike World Championship appearance at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend, racing a Yamaha R1 WorldSBK specification machine out of the Team Benovo Action by MGM Racing Yamaha pit box.
Having made his Grand Prix motorcycle racing debut in 2008, Folger has since achieved five victories across the 125cc, Moto3 and Moto2 classes before stepping up to MotoGP for the 2017 campaign. Racing a Yamaha YZR-M1, the German enjoyed a fine start to the season, taking a best finish of second in front of his home crowd at the Sachsenring. Unfortunately, his career was then halted after being diagnosed with Gilbert’s syndrome.
Since then, the 27-year-old has been steadily returning to the racing scene, riding again in Moto2 for five events in 2019, before committing to a full-season entry in the 2020 IDM Superbike Championship on a Yamaha R1. With the season shortened due to the crisis, Folger has quickly adapted to the bike and series and has won all six races so far to put himself in reach of the title.
With experience of both the Yamaha R1 and the Spanish venue, where he took a strong sixth-place finish during his MotoGP campaign, Folger is aiming to be in the mix this weekend and will join the other WorldSBK riders for FP1 on Friday at 11:00 (GMT+2).
Team Benovo Action by MGM Racing Yamaha
I look forward to this weekend, as I really wanted to do a wildcard WorldSBK ride this year on a Yamaha R1. I’m really happy to have my full team coming too from the IDM Superbikes, including all the crew and mechanics. We have a good package and we’re all very excited to arrive in Barcelona and show what we can do. It’s a good track for me, as I’ve spent a lot of laps there over the years, so I’m ready to put in a good performance.
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
The Barcelona wildcard was part of a wider racing program, which we’ve been forced to reduce due to COVID-19. However, thanks to the help of all the involved parties we’ve finally made it possible and we’re happy to welcome Jonas Folger and Team Benovo Action by MGM Racing Yamaha to WorldSBK on our Yamaha R1. Having an extra bike on the grid is important for us, our fans and the championship. Jonas is doing incredibly well in IDM, showing great pace and a good feeling with the R1, therefore we’re looking forward to seeing him and his team take on their latest challenge. They can count on our full support and we hope they enjoy every lap of this new experience.