#FrenchGP: So-so French Friday
For Jonas Folger, opening day in Le Mans went not only because of constantly changing conditions very differently.
Day one of practice at the Grand Prix de France, which marks round five of this year’s World Championship, was accompanied by typical weather conditions for the Sarthe region, located somewhat of 250 km southwest of Paris. Whilst it started to dry out during this morning’s FP1, the second session took place under completely wet conditions caused by a heavy downpour at lunch time.
On a halfway wet track in the morning, Jonas Folger started strong as usual into the weekend. But, first, it was to get grips with the tricky conditions on what was an unknown affair due to the new tarmac which was recently re-surfaced at the Le Mans circuit. But, it took no longer as Folger found himself in third on the time sheet. A position, he had for a while. Despite a more and more drying track, Folger and his crew decided to continue with rain tyres and a rain setting. The full wet second session went more difficult for him. But the Yamaha rider remains confident the weekend, which is the home race of his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), FP1: P12 – 1´41.644 (11/12) / FP2: P19 – 1´45.119 (14/18):
“The first impressions about the new tarmac are generally very good. In recent years, the track has been very bumpy and slippery. This was also the cause of many falls which was why I had to experience this several times one year ago too. But the distinction in breaking areas is huge now. It has been necessary for a long time that the circuit’s owners acted in this respect and we are all very pleased about their work done.”
“Because of the mixed conditions this morning, we did not work so much with the bike. Nevertheless, things went very positive over the course of the entire session. First and foremost, it was all about to find confidence for the new tarmac and the conditions. Towards the end, we did not switch to slick tyres. So, for this the view on the time sheet doesn’t look pleasing after some other riders went out on track with slicks and a dry setting.”
“However, during FP2 in the afternoon we had to fight with unfamiliar grip issues. This was really strange, as we are usually strong in the wet. We need to analyze why we did not have edge grip at all. This meant, that the rear was always pushing sideways under breaking. But the situation is far off worrying because I think that we need to put more weight on the rear wheel as the traction is good itself. I’m pretty sure that after this measure, the world will be different tomorrow again.”
MotoGP™ GP de France – Combined Free Practice Times (FP1/FP2):
1 Jack MILLER / AUS / Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS / Honda / 1´37.467 (FP1)
2 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Respol Honda Team / Honda / 1´38.755 +1.288 (FP1)
3 Johann ZARCO / FRA / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´39.248 +1.781 (FP1)
12 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´41.644 +4.177 (FP1)