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Former rookie of the year won’t race this season because of rare, debilitating disease Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Last year saw an impressive rookie campaign from MotoGP racer Jonas Folger, but unfortunately there will be no encore in 2018.

Folger raced in 13 of the 18 events on the schedule before taking time away from the sport for health reasons. He finished second at his home race GoPro Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland in Germany for his first career podium in MotoGP.

The 24-year-old German was diagnosed with Gilbert’s Syndrome which is a genetic condition that prevents the liver from properly processing bilirubin, according to FOX Sports.

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Folger announced to his Tech 3 Yamaha  team that he would not be competing in 2018 because he doesn’t feel physically or mentally up to it. The decision will give Folger time to recover without the pressure of an upcoming season.

“I’m incredibly sad to be saying this, but I will not be racing MotoGP in 2018,” Folger said in a statement from Yamaha. “I wasn’t able to make the improvements I was hoping for, and at this stage I don’t feel able to ride a MotoGP machine at 100 percent.”

“I’d like to thank everyone involved, but especially the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team, Yamaha Factory Japan, Monster Energy, HJC, IXON, Forma Boots and Rudy Project,” added Folger. “I hope to be back one day and want to thank you all for your ongoing support.”

Herve Poncharal, Tech 3 team boss has said that he’s still shocked from the information, because he felt that Folger and his team would’ve been able to reach the top level together this season.

“It is still very difficult for me to believe, that he’s not going to race with us in 2018, especially because he has been somebody I had lot of faith in and I was sure we would reach top level together this year.” Poncharal said. “I completely respect his decision, although it’s hard to swallow.”

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