Tech 3 signs Jonas Folger to replace Bradley Smith in MotoGP 2017

German Moto2 rider Jonas Folger will graduate to MotoGP next year with the Tech3 Yamaha team

Tech 3 signs Jonas Folger to replace Bradley Smith in MotoGP 2017

Now in his third Moto2 season, Folger has two wins in the class to his name, and is fifth in this year's standings after four races.

The 22-year-old claimed an additional two world championship race wins in the junior 125cc/Moto3 class.

Folger will start life as a MotoGP rider in the first post-season test at Valencia in November.

"I have been racing for years in the motorcycling world championship and to make the move up to the premier class is a dream come true," he said.

"Furthermore, it's an honour to make this step with Yamaha, Herve Poncharal and Tech3 who have such a long and deep history in the paddock.

"I will try my absolute best to repay the faith the team has put in me, and I'm really looking forward to the new adventure.

"However, I will remain completely focused for the rest of the year in the intermediate class but I can't wait for Valencia where I will sample the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time."

Bradley Smith will leave Tech3 at the end of this season to join the incoming KTM, which increases the prospect of Pol Espargaro staying with the team in 2017.

Espargaro is the leading satellite rider in the MotoGP standings, in fifth place.

"It's always a very important and tough decision to make when it's time for us to choose a young rider to start his career in the MotoGP class," Tech3 boss Herve Poncharal said.

"We have been thinking a lot about who had the best profile to replace Brad who has done a great job with Tech3 for four years and is now ready to move to a full factory team.

"Having thoroughly checked all the names and details of the young riders in various championships, the name Jonas Folger came out on top.

"He's a nice person, very fast and he is going to have a strong season in Moto2 this year, where he hopefully will win the title which would be the dream situation."

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