#CzechGP: “Man of the Race” in Brno
The 23-year-old German MotoGP™ rider stormed to a top ten finish after a muffed pit stop.
This weekend’s Czech Grand Prix, the return to action after the summer break, was characterized by changing weather conditions. Last night, a front carrying rain arrived the south of Moravia again and the first shower did not take long in coming. So, race day’s action started with a rainy warm up session this morning which played Jonas Folger and his crew badly. After they endured difficulties to set up the MotoGP Yamaha for the Brno circuit during the last days, Folger and his technician wanted to test another solution before going into the race. At the time of the race start, however, the track was still wet, so this was why all riders and teams started with a full rain setting and rain tyres. But the fast and flowing 5.4 kilometres long track at the Automotodrom Brno dried out quickly.
Meanwhile, reigning world champion and current leader Marc Marquez and Jonas Folger were the first to change their bikes. However, Folger was sent back out on track by his crew at his first visit in the pit lane as the second bike was still in preparation at this time. One lap later, the speedy Bavarian was able to change his machine and from then, Folger showed a real masterclass performance at a more and more drying out track. In doing so, he set a number of fastest lap times during the race and quickly picked up positions form the rear end of the wild pack. His pace overall was as fast as that one of the later winner Marquez.
The second part of the season starts with a tight schedule too as the series moves over straight to the next race in Austria in just one week.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), 10th (Championship position 7th, 77 points):
“Frankly, I went into the race with a queasy feeling because I struggled with grip issues and this was why I didn’t feel well in the wet. Nevertheless, my start was really good but after the first part of the track I started to lose positions already. I couldn’t go as fast as the front group. But, I quickly noticed that it starts to dry out and this quite quickly. So, I decided to come in to change the bike at the end of lap two. At the same time, I saw that Marc (Marquez) had the same plan when he entered the pit lane. This was somehow a help for my decision and also a good reference. However, it was still risky to swap bikes so early.”
“To follow Marc, I could have been able to race a strong pace. But as far as it should not come, as my crew chief has thrown me through – the bike was not ready for the change. In the subsequent lap, I thought about how many laps I should do or to wait for the signal from my crew. But I immediately came in again where the swap from one bike to the other worked perfectly, although the bike was finished just at the last moment. With the second bike, I had a great feeling right from leaving the pit actually, so it was the best feeling of the whole weekend at all. This bike, however, had a completely different setting after we had to fight the whole weekend with lack of front-end feeling and some other things. Our plan was to try and test this solution during warm up, but unfortunately the weather did not play into our cards. So, it then took one lap to get used to it.”
“But after that it was as if all the problems we suffered during both days of practice had disappeared at one blow. I felt that much comfortable with my package and I also could set a very, very strong pace. It’s a pity, of course, that we lost so much time at the beginning and beyond that I didn’t expect that it would be enough to finish this race in the top ten in the end. Therefore, I’m more than happy with my race today. Errors always can happen, we are all just humans. I also make mistakes and today my crew simply has fluffed as they didn’t put in slick tyres. So, for the next races, we need to be much more confident about our direction, especially if a flag-to-flag race is to be expected. My team has apologized to me a hundred times and I’m also sorry, because it was clear for us that we could have delivered such a strong race today. Without this self-imposed ride-through penalty at the beginning of the race, perhaps even a podium would have been possible. By the way, starting with slick tyres would have made no sense.”
MotoGP™ GP Ceské republiky – Race Classification after 22 Laps:
1 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 40´59.525
2 Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / +12.438
3 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / +18.135
10 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / +33.236
MotoGP™ World Standing:
1 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 154
2 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 140
3 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / Ducati / 133
7 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 77