Nozane to replace ill Folger at Japanese GP
12 October 2017 – Tech 3 has drafted in Kohta Nozane to replace Jonas Folger for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix.
Nozane, 21, has competed in the Japanese Superbike Championship since 2014, taking a best of fifth last year, and made his MotoGP test bow with Yamaha at Sepang during pre-season testing.
Folger will miss this weekend's event at Motegi due to an illness – the nature of which has not yet been diagnosed – and is also expected to be absent for the following round in Australia.
As a result, Yamaha rider Nozane will join satellite Tech 3 squad for his home round at Motegi, which will be his first event in the premier class.
Nozane, who will ride with No. 31, previously competed in a handful of races in Moto2 in 2012/13.
"This is big surprise for me, I still can't believe that I will ride at the Grand Prix of Japan," said Nozane.
"Motegi is my favourite circuit, and I have ridden the YZR-M1 with Michelin tyres here before as a Yamaha test rider.
"It will be an honour to ride on home soil like a MotoGP rider. I would like to thank Yamaha and Monster Yamaha Tech 3 for giving me this opportunity."
Nozane's presence means that there will be three home riders on the grid this weekend, with Hiroshi Aoyama replacing the injured Jack Miller at Marc VDS, and Katsuyuki Nakasuga wildcarding for Yamaha.