Replacing Folger: It’s Complicated

Jon Rea, Chaz Davies, Garret Gerloff, Anthony West and Josh Hayes

Dean F
You are semi-retired buddy. We can run all the good photos now.

Your list of riders you’d like to see replace the ailing/broken Jonas Folger on the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team probably looks a lot like mine:

Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies or American Garret Gerloff.

The issue with those three is that they are currently under contract to Kawasaki, Ducati Corse and Yamaha USA. There are ways to get out of contracts but it can be very expensive to break a contract (even if one just walks out as Scott Russell did at Kawasaki when he was offered a Suzuki MotoGP ride).

The situation is exacerbated by the well known fact that a ride at Tech 3 on a MotoGP bike is not a super-well paying gig by MotoGP or factory WSBK rider standards. Tech 3 riders make about $250,000 a year and have to cover many of their own expenses. Certainly Rea and Davies are making much more than $250k in just their OEM salary in WSBK.

Add in the fact that all the experts in MotoGP collectively agree that Rea nor Davies have the nad to race in MotoGP. This even after Rea was faster than many MotoGP bikes last year at a combined WSBK/MotoGP test. Think about it: he was faster than a dozen or so MotoGP bikes while on his WSBK Kawasaki and he is still dismissed by the MotoGP hive mind.

Moreover, Casey Stoner says Davies has what it takes to be a MotoGP rider. Again, dismissed as poppycock.

Okay: if the criteria is a rider who is currently un-contracted or in a contract he can “bend” then the choice is obvious: Anthony West. Fast, capable and doesn’t crash a lot. Fast when it matters.

And if the criteria is a rider they can get to ride the bike for the upcoming test and the first few Grand Prix, until they can make a plan to fully replace Folger: Josh Hayes. Again Hayes will be dismissed as any kind of MotoGP rider … even though he finished seventh at Valencia in his last MotoGP ride … riding … the Tech 3 Yamaha …




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