Yonny Hernandez

Yonny Hernandez To Test For Tech 3 At Sepang - Decision On Full-Time Replacement To Follow After Sepang

The Colombian rider Yonny Hernandez is to replace Jonas Folger in the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team at the Sepang test. The move had been widely anticipated, though officially denied. Hernandez has recent MotoGP experience, having spent five years in the class between 2012 and 2016, most of those years on a Ducati. He returned to Moto2 in 2017, and had decided to make the switch to WorldSBK for 2018.

In the press release, Poncharal states that Hernandez is one of the possible candidates to replace Jonas Folger full time for the 2018 MotoGP season. That would be complicated, as Hernandez already has a contract with the Pedercini Kawasaki team to race in WorldSBK in 2018. However, team boss Lucio Pedercini told GPOne at the team launch that he would be open to releasing Hernandez from his contract. "It's true that the contract made between Yonny and the team doesn't foresee [Hernandez going to MotoGP], but anyway, I don't think it would be problem if he decides to test it or even return to MotoGP." Pedercini said he had a possible replacement already lined up if Hernandez does leave.

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2017 Sepang MotoGP Test Preview - Happy Days Are Here Again

In a few hours time, the grandstands at the Sepang International Circuit will echo with the booming assault of MotoGP machines being pushed to their limits. The entire MotoGP grid has assembled for the first test of the preseason, meaning that the 2017 MotoGP season is about to get underway, at last.

That, at least, is the plan. The reality is that the grandstands may echo only to the sporadic rasp of a MotoGP bike being warmed up, and the occasional intrepid test rider being sent out to test conditions. The resurfaced Sepang continues to be plagued by drainage problems, water remaining on the track for a long time. In high humidity, relatively low track temperatures and without the burning tropical sun, the water left by unusually heavy rains is not evaporating. Parts of the track remain wet all day, making it impossible to push the bikes to the limit, and very risky to try.

Suzuki team boss Davide Brivio expressed the concerns shared by most teams. "You never know how many hours you can test, because the track remains wet for a long time. And if it rains a lot in the evening, maybe you have to wait a long time in the morning. So it's a little bit of a question mark now, how much you can test."

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