Folger won't continue with Bonovo BMW WSBK team in 2022
Jonas Folger is set to part ways with the satellite MGM Bonovo team at the end of the 2021 World Superbike season due to the ex-MotoGP rider’s struggles with BMW’s new bike.
Folger earned a full-time seat with Bonovo following a trio of wildcard appearances in 2020, which followed his title-winning campaign in the German-based IDM Superbike series.
But the 28-year-old has struggled to come to terms with the BMW M1000RR having spent the last few seasons almost exclusively on Yamaha machinery in Superbikes and MotoGP, having just scored just 19 points all season with a single top-10 finish to his name at Aragon.
He appeared set to make a breakthrough at Assen in July after qualifying a season-best sixth, only for a crash in the opening race to sideline him from the rest of the weekend and derail his campaign.
Bonovo team boss Michael Galinski has concluded that Folger is better off “taking a step back” from the team as the BMW bike doesn’t suit his riding style like the Yamaha R1 did.
"We will be represented in this paddock next year with BMW, but it's not yet clear with which rider," Galinski told Motorsport.com’s sister title Motorsport-Total.com. "If the rider doesn't have the necessary confidence, then it's better to take a step back.
"Racing is not always fun. But you can see that Jonas is suffering and that he can't ride the bike the way he would like to. You can also see it in the first laps, where he doesn't really get into it and where he doesn't know exactly how the bike reacts.
"As [Johann] Zarco didn't get on with the KTM, [Valentino] Rossi didn't get on with the Ducati and [Jorge] Lorenzo didn't get on with the Honda. You can't force it.”
Galinski believes Folger has failed to overcome the limitations of the new BMW M1000RR that was introduced this year, something Michael van der Mark has managed to do following his own switch from Yamaha to BMW’s factory team this year.
"The fact is that the BMW doesn't provide as clear feedback from the front wheel as other bikes," he explained. "You also have to ride over the feeling sometimes. Those were the statements that came out in a conversation with Michael van der Mark.
"Van der Mark doesn't feel the front either sometimes, but he does it anyway. Ninety-five per cent of the time it goes well. Otherwise the limit was reached. Jonas is probably a bit more sensitive in this respect.
“Everyone in the team knows what he can do. The talent has not disappeared. But he can't call it up. Accordingly, it's not going well with a BMW Superbike."
The chances of Folger continuing in WSBK away from Bonovo are low, with Barni and Go Eleven the only leading privateer teams with seats available for 2022.
But Galinski is keeping the door open for Folger to remain with Bonovo in another category next year, ensuring the German rider could continue racing beyond the end of the season.
Bonovo continues to race in the IDM championship in Germany and also made a wildcard appearance in World Supersport last weekend in Barcelona, fielding a Yamaha R6 for Patrick Hobelsberger.
"There are ideas [regarding Folger’s future].” Galinski said. “It's too early to talk about it. In any case, we won't drop Jonas [completely].
"He first has to work out what he wants. When I talk to him, I sense that he is not finished with the subject. He doesn't say that racing is no longer for him. The important thing is that he finds his self-confidence back and can race again.
"We will help him once again. But we will not provide him with a Yamaha in WSBK, that is out of the question. But there are other classes.”
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