Former MotoGP rider Jonas Folger says he is ‘ready to put in a good performance’ ahead of his keenly anticipated WorldSBK Championship debut at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya amid rumours he is in the running for a full-time switch in 2021.

Folger made his MotoGP debut in 2017 with Tech 3 Yamaha before being sidelined for an extended period of time with the fatigue-inducing Gilbert’s Syndrome, but has returned to full-time competition in 2020 with a campaign in the German-based IDM Superbike series with the promise of wildcard WorldSBK outings too.

As such, he will get his WorldSBK bow in Spain this weekend with the same Team Benovo Action by MGM Racing Yamaha team he races in Germany with. As it stands, he is currently on the cusp of the 2020 IDM Superbike title with a perfect six wins from six races, with only one event remaining.

“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.”

Indeed, Folger’s outing this weekend could be billed as a pitch for a full-time WorldSBK ride in 2021. The manufacturer is considering its options for next season following Michael van der Mark’s announcement he will leave for BMW in 2021.

Yamaha is considered most likely to sign Loris Baz to its works set-up, with Folger potentially in line to replace the Frenchman at Ten Kate Yamaha. However, Baz may yet opt to stay with the Dutch-based semi-private team given its parity in performance with the Crescent Racing run factory outfit.

Folger's chances of landing a ride are understood to be boosted by Dorna's desire to have a German racer on the grid to coincide with the return of Oschersleben, which has had its planned 2020 event postponed to 2021. This has taken on greater importance recently following the serious injuries sustained by the sole German rider on the grid, Sandro Cortese, will have ruled him out of this season at least.

Runaway WorldSSP leader Andrea Locatelli is set for a GRT Yamaha ride, meaning one of Garrett Gerloff or Federico Caricasulo could be sidelined, or be moved to an expanded Ten Kate Racing line-up.
 

 

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