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.