#CatalanGP: Strong start into the Barcelona weekend
After posting third fastest lap time on Friday, Jonas Folger displayed again a blistering pace on the opening day.
Hot weather on the previous day, a light drizzle on Friday morning brought some cooler temperatures. The first free practice session was therefore held under mixed conditions. Jonas Folger and his Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew, however, still didn’t miss one minute, as they had to get grips with the recently modified last part of the Catalan track though it took just a couple of laps for the 23-year-old Yamaha rider to find the right line there. He proved it with fifth fastest lap time on Friday morning.
For FP2 in the afternoon, the track was dried out completely since long though at increased temperatures, grip level was significantly lower under hot conditions. Circumstances, which caused issues for Folger and his crew one week ago. But unlike in Mugello, the astonishing MotoGP™ rookie and his technicians renounced the search for more grip this time. Folger finished Friday in third fastest which gives now justified hopes for the remaining weekend in the northern part of Spain.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), FP1: P5 – 1´46.722 (14/14) / FP2: P3 – 1´44.839 (16/18):
“I’m pleased how things went today and how we started into the weekend. Actually, it was a strong Friday and I’m also happy about things developed over course of the day. Today, we started with two completely different bikes. But it took not that long time to decide for a direction with which I had the best feeling. A short run with used tyres, which already lasted for a race distance almost, confirmed this decision too. We then put in new tyres and made a small change to the front. The grip then was really good, actually even surprisingly good.”
“Grip conditions in general here are similar to those in Jerez, or as in Mugello last week. As soon as it gets hot, the grip drops significantly. But this is normal. The problem, however, is when you’re looking for more grip, it’s easy that you are losing the way and getting around in circles – just like last weekend. From this point on we will not do much more in this respect, but we will work on other areas. In the past, I mostly was strong on tracks which offers a low grip level. Obviously, it seems that conditions like these suites my riding. Therefore, I will try to take full advantage of these circumstances this weekend in my favour. So far, it looks quite pleasingly.”
“About the new chicane, it is to say that it took a while to get grips with the modified last sector. Apart from the curbs, there are no differences to the chicane 50 metres further down that we used last year. In any case, it is extremely angled and therefore very slow. So, if you crash there the rider and the bike remain in the middle of the track. I think the thing is not quite safe. In my opinion, the second chicane is also more flowing.”
MotoGP™ GP de Catalunya – Combined Free Practice Times (FP1/FP2):
1 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Respol Honda Team / Honda / 1´44.295 (FP2)
2 Jorge LORENZO / SPA / Ducati Team / Ducati / 1´44.700 +0.405 (FP2)
3 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´44.839 +0.544 (FP2)