Phillip Island Test: #JF94 hits the Top 4 surprisingly
The 23-year-old German MotoGP rider improved again enormously during the last day of the three-day test in Australia.
As fourth fastest overall, Folger provided a genuine surprise. Even for the always modest rider, this result came completely unexpected. In good conditions, he again impressed not only with his speedy start into the final day at Phillip Island. Folger posted his best effort already very early but his lap time was astonishing 0.6 seconds faster than the previous day. For a long time, Folger was shown in third positon on the time screens until Spaniard Dani Pedrosa edged him out by a margin of 0.009 second towards the end of the day.
At about the same time, Folger had to report a small crash to his crew, but without any consequences. Shortly after, he went out on track again to regain the feeling and confidence immediately. However, not only this last exit of the three-day stay at Phillip Island has brought the confirmation that Folger has arrived in the premier class MotoGP longest. To round up this test in P4, in doing so Folger was also fastest rookie, he was less than half of a second off the pace, set by Spaniard Maverick Vinales.
Before the start of this year’s World Championship with the Grand Prix of Qatar as traditional season opener end of March, the season’s preparations are set to finalize with another three-day test held at the Losail International Circuit, which is scheduled from 8th to 10th of March.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), P4 – 1´29.042 (12/63):
“I think, we must be pleased with these results of this test. At the same time, it came a bit surprisingly. As yesterday, I was amazed about my lap time today again, mainly because as I could do it very early this morning. But not only my fastest lap time was a very strong marker, but also our pace overall. During that exit, I had a very consistent pace with very similar times each lap. However, the most positive fact is that we were consistently fast with used tyres.
“The good conditions during this three days has made it possible for us to work a lot with the electronics. Yesterday, and today, we were focussed exclusively on this topic and working with used tyres. After lunch break, we prepared our No. 2 bike for a race simulation with new tyres and a full tank. Unfortunately, this run was ended abruptly because of a harmless crash in turn six. Due to the full tank, the front folded. I was then somewhat of unsettled because I didn’t want to finish this test in this way any way.
“Therefore, it was important to went out on track with the other bike immediately again though this bike had a different setup. Firstly, it was lighter, as well as it was more balanced to the rear so a full race simulation wasn’t possible. For this reason, I did just eleven laps but I went faster and faster with each lap and for the conclusion of this run I set another 1´29.3. Afterwards, this step has proved as the right one because the confidence was immediately back and it was also extremely important to get the feeling back as quick as possible.
“In addition, this last run also confirmed that we’re on the right way because I lapped consistently in the range of 1´29 low with used tyres. We all are very happy with our progress we have made during this test. Over the course of these three days we were able to collect a lot of useful information. Beyond that, I have been able to adapt my riding to this track perfectly. At Phillip Island, you must ride very smooth and carry on the speed through the corners, as well it’s important to have the necessary confidence with the bike because here are many places where you must quickly lean the bike in high speed.
“Compared to our last test in Sepang, I mainly improved my riding in corner entry and exit. In these areas, I’m riding now more smooth and do not stress the tyres too much. But, I’m still fast. This experience I’ll try to take it to Qatar and to build upon this level there. I don’t think about the first race yet because we need to keep focus on more testing before the championship gets underway.
“So far, we have done a great job. This fact gives us a lot of confidence. But I must stay calm und may not expect too much, even if we have surprised not only ourselves, but also some others. So far, we just competed in testing’s. But if we are able to continue like this during the last test in two weeks at the Losail Circuit, then we can look a little bit relaxed ahead of the first race. I’m definitely very, very happy with my performance this week.”
Phillip Island MotoGP™ Test – Combined Days:
1 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 1´28.549
2 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 1´28.843 +0.294
3 Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 1´29.033 +0.484
4 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´29.042 +0.493