GP of Japan: More or less happy with Friday’s practice sessions
The start into round 15 of this year’s Moto2™ World Championship has brought somewhat a little surprise in terms of tyre performance for Jonas Folger and his AGR Team.
Normally Folger and the soft option for the rear tyre of the 2015 generation are a perfect combination and at the same time a guarantor for super strong lap times, while track conditions doesn’t matter, with just the conditions have to be ok. However, during Friday’s first practice session at the Grand Prix of Japan, held in fine weather conditions, the Kalex rider was faster with the harder option suddenly.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (AGR Team, Kalex) FP1: 5: – 1´52.190 (15/15) / FP2: 7. – 1´51.771 (19/19):
“In general I’m happy with the start into the weekend, though we are a little confused about tyre performance at the moment. This morning we started to work with the harder option rear tyre. The simple reason for that is to test more with this tyre to be able to get more competitive during a long distance. Afterwards we put in the soft tyre with which we were expecting faster lap times. But this time, they didn’t come. So for this we are a bit confused at the moment, especially we got the confirmation this in the afternoon as we started to work the other way around. So we used the soft option first before we put in the hard rear tyre after some changes to the setup too. Again the harder compound was working better. It seems, as we have to continue working with this option for the remaining weekend as it is obviously the better choice for us, at least this weekend here in Motegi. In addition to this, we have to solve some problems in the breaking areas because the bike is very unstable under breaking as it’s hardly to stop the bike properly. Beyond that, I have to work on myself in order to find a better rhythm for the Twin Ring’s layout. Nevertheless, I’m very confident to be able to repeat our strong and consistent performance this weekend too because I was out there with used tyres most of the day and I was able to bang down my best lap time in the very last minute, also with a used tyre which had almost a race distance on. This makes me looking forward confidently to tomorrow’s qualifying.”
Combined Practice Times FP1/FP2:
1. Johann ZARCO / FRA / Ajo Motorsport / Kalex / 1´51.158 (FP2)
2. Alex RINS / SPA / Paginas Amarillas HP 40 / Kalex / 1´51.197 +0.039 (FP2)
3. Thomas LÜTHI / SWI / Derendinger Interwetten Racing / Kalex / 1´51.352 +0.194 (FP2)
7 Jonas FOLGER / GER / AGR Team / Kalex / 1´51.771 + 0.719 (FP2)