#AmericasGP: Happy with third row start in Texas
From Jonas Folger’s point of view, also the second regular qualifying this year has been affected by the weather.
Like it was in Argentina two weeks ago, days of practice also were accompanied by changeable weather this weekend. At least, however, it remained dry this Saturday but significantly cooler temperatures and strong winds caused some issues and uncertainties.
Therefore, the 23-year-old MotoGP™ rookie from Germany made his very first experience under those circumstances. Due to these tricky conditions, Saturday morning’s FP3 saw many falls which, of course, had a negative impact on the confidence of all riders. In the case of Folger, it was aggravating to went out on track with a used tyre which had been heated before already for several times. During the session, Folger could not bring this tyre into its normal range of temperature in which a MotoGP tyre works. All together confused the otherwise very self-confident shooting star.
By the time of qualifying practice early afternoon, the weather situation got better with slightly warmer temperatures. Apart from that, Folger found quickly his confidence again, which was also attributable to the new tyres with which he started his time attack during the 15 minutes long session. In his first exit, Folger followed his team mate Johann Zarco which, of course, was helpful in terms of choosing the right line. In doing so, the Yamaha rider posted his fastest lap time this weekend so far. Finally, he qualified for eight position on the grid.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), Grid position 8 – 2´04.623 (3/7):
“After the change of weather with significantly cooler temperatures, it was a lot more complicated today. Especially during FP3 in the morning, the conditions were very difficult. I’ve had a hard time to cope with the situation. In the end, I lost completely my confidence because the situation was really critical after eleven riders crashed. Fortunately, it did not happen to me although I could just prevent a fall several times. In any case, it was the first time for me, that there were tyre issues due to the cool conditions. I was very insecure. But during qualifying, I managed to regain my confidence. This was mainly due to the new soft tyre we used in this session.
“My qualifying lap was not bad, which I set already in my first exit, as well as the lap time was ok. P8 on the grid in the third is definitely not a bad position. I’m happy with it and I’m delighted that I could improve by one row in contrast to last time. Apart from that, I’m confident for the race as we have a good rhythm which is the same for the pace. Nevertheless, we still have some work to do on the front in order to improve my feeling. I think that we are able to deliver a good race again. Tyre choice in favour to the medium option is almost done. I think, that we will into trouble using the softer rear but therefore is still a meeting to discuss about this issue.”
MotoGP™ GP of The Americas – Qualifying Classification:
1 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 2´02.741
2 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 2´02.871 +0.130
3 Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 2´03.673 +0.932
8 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 2´04.623 +1.882
MotoGP™ GP of The Americas – Time Schedule for Sunday, April 23rd (CET):
16:40 – 17:00 Warm Up
21:00 – Race (21 Laps – 115,773 km)