Van der Mark to make MotoGP debut at Sepang

Michael van der Mark will replace the ill Jonas Folger and make his MotoGP debut with satellite Yamaha team Tech 3 at Sepang, it has been announced.

Van der Mark looked set to race for the factory Yamaha squad at Aragon in place of the injured Valentino Rossi, but the return of the Italian forced the Dutchman on the sidelines with the promise of a MotoGP test in the future.

However, a new opportunity arose when Folger was struck down by a suspected mononucleosis, ruling the German rider out of the three Asian flyaway races.

While Kohta Nozane and Broc Parkes replaced Folger for Motegi and Phillip Island respectively, it will be Yamaha World Superbike regular van der Mark filling in for him at Sepang.

Van der Mark, who was unavailable for Phillip Island as he has been racing in Jerez this weekend, said: "It goes without saying that I am really excited.

"I came quite close to getting the opportunity to ride a MotoGP bike a few weeks ago [at Aragon], but it didn’t work out.

"Then Herve [Poncharal, Tech 3 boss] called, and although I will have a busy schedule, I could not say no to this chance.

"I am very happy and I look forward to this adventure. Luckily, I know Sepang, but the MotoGP riders have done a lot of tests there this year, so everyone will be fast.

"However, I just want to enjoy this weekend, to improve myself and see how it is to ride the YZR-M1.

"At the moment we have some good momentum in World Superbikes so I think it is the perfect time to jump on the Yamaha.

"I look forward to riding the bike and I want to thank Hervé and Yamaha for this opportunity."

Van der Mark is sixth in the WSBK standings with three races to go in his first season with Yamaha.


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About this article
Series MotoGP
Event Malaysian GP
Track Sepang International Circuit
Drivers Michael van der Mark
Teams Tech 3
Article type Breaking news