Jonas Folger's decision not to race this year has wrong-footed many, not least his team manager Hervé Poncharal. It's clearly not just physical problems that have convinced the German to take a long break, with the psychological component also having a bearing.
Te physical and mental stress that a MotoGP rider is subjected to is often underestimated, as Stefan Bradl explains in an interview with Speedweek.
“I can't speak about Folger's situation because I don't know all the reasons for his withdrawal - he said - Perhaps the pressure was too great, or perhaps the main problem is his physical condition. It's a real shame anyway”.
The MotoGP definitely puts riders to the test.
“I realised that MotoGP asks a lot more, physically-speaking, than the Moto2 and that's not all, everything is multiplied - he continued - In the top class, the weekends are full of commitments, from Thursday morning to Sunday evening, you barely switch off for half an hour”.
Bradl refers not only to team commitments, but also those with the media and sponsors.
“The pressure coming from outside is significant. Then, if you're a country's only rider - like him and Folger - all eyes are on you. I've experienced it for myself and think that Jonas will also understand what I mean”.
Then there are the comparisons with his team-mate.
“Jonas immediately had a really strong team-mate to compare himself to. Zarco is a great rider, you can try to ignore it, to only focus on yourself, but you always want to be the best in the team and you'll try anyway. In spite of everything, Jonas had a great season, I hope he can get back to full fitness. I hope he finds happiness again”, concludes Bradl.