#CatalanGP: Outstanding qualifying performance in scorching Barcelona
Jonas Folger performed impressively this weekend so far; eighth spot on the grid is a significantly better starting position than for the last races.
For day two of practice in Barcelona, the weather conditions were that great again with increased temperatures so Saturday early afternoon’s timed sessions were a hot fight for starting positions. In addition, the track’s conditions got worse year by year which means less grip level throughout the day. Jonas Folger, however, was unimpressed by these circumstances, although he missed to go through Q2 by a margin of 0.23 seconds after this morning’s FP3. But in Q1, the Yamaha rider immediately set a fabulous lap time with which he remained on top of the timesheet to make it into Q2 which decides the grid positions for the first four rows. During this 15-minutes long timed session, however, he was determined to repeat his lap time from Q1 but obviously he wasn’t riding relaxed enough to do so. In any case, a third row start in Barcelona, another highlight of the season, is still a success.
By the way, based on the riders’ feedback after day one’s action the safety commission decided to revert the track layout to the old chicane – the one used for Saturday and Sunday last year – from this morning onwards.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), Grid position 8 – 1´44.600 (3/5):
“I’m happy to get a decent qualifying result again after some difficult weekends. Furthermore, I’m very pleased with our progress today and apart from this it came a bit surprisingly that I’m fastest Yamaha rider after this qualifying. The base for this achievement we already did yesterday as it was definitely the right choice to start with two completely different bikes in terms of settings. Therefore, it was easy to find out the right path and we continued working in the same way today. I have great feeling with the bike, it works perfect. This applies to the front as well as for the rear so, we didn’t change so much on the bike either.”
“During all sessions today, I was very constant today. Even during FP4, when we did a run with the medium option. The key for a fast pace here is a smooth riding as well as to carry on corner speed. If you brake too late, you must stop the bike even harder and this applies also for accelerating in corner exit. This riding affect tyre wear, of course. But I think, I’m able to implement this greatly this weekend so far. Nevertheless, we also have to deal with massive grip issues like all others. After four or five laps, the grip drops down significantly but then the level remains stable and I’m able to take benefit of it. This is why we intend to decide for the medium compound for the race for both the front and the rear.”
“My lap time in Q1 was already very strong though I wanted to do it again in Q2. But, probably I was too much focussed on this and therefore I was riding too aggressive. In addition, I wasn’t that relaxed and fresh after going through Q1. In the end, my lap time in Q2 was not so bad, but with the other one I would start from second row tomorrow. But is all speculative. After difficult races recently, all our focus remains on the first half of the distance tomorrow because the problems with a full tank and the front tyre are also present here. After three or four laps, as soon the grip level drops rapidly, you must get adapted to the situation and how to deal with it. So, it’s going to be a tough race again. But if we are able to bring home this eighth position then we did a great job. But as said, first I’ve do to well during the opening laps.”
MotoGP™ GP de Catalunya – Qualifying Results:
1 Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 1´43.870
2 Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Ducati Team / Ducati / 1´44.201 +0.331
3 Danilo PETRUCCI / ITA / OCTO Pramac Racing / Ducati / 1´44.220 +0.350
8 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´44.600 +0.730