Phillip Island Test: Strong start again into second pre-season testing’s
Jonas Folger shone also as fastest rookie after day one at the three-day Phillip Island test.
The picturesque island approximately 150 km south of Melbourne hosts the second pre-season test this year, which commenced in wonderful summer weather on Wednesday. Pleasant temperatures around 30 degrees and good track conditions were an enjoyable fact for teams and riders as changeable weather spoils many times proceedings during the Australian race weekend in October. For the next two days, the weather remains stable.
However, first, relatively low temperatures prevented a start on time with the track opened at 9:45am local time. Jonas Folger and his crew in Monster Yamaha Tech 3 started their schedule soon afterwards. The 4.4 kilometres long circuit at Phillip Island is no longer a foreign affair for the 23-year-old German MotoGP rider but aboard his more than 250 horsepower MotoGP bike, Folger first encountered some unknown pitfalls at this super-fast and flowing track. After a couple of exits, however, he had everything in his hands again and set a very strong lap time just before lunch time. Unfortunately, the ambitious athlete failed to improve this marker in the afternoon. Folger finished day one at the Island tenth fastest.
Pre-season testing’s in Australia will continue Thursday.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), P10 – 1´30.578 (30/62):
“In general, I’m happy how things went on day one because we were able to gather useful data for the remaining days in Australia. However, it took some turns to find the right way around this track with my MotoGP Yamaha. Phillip Island has a unique character with such a bike, the differences to Moto2 are really huge. The differences were already big in Valencia and Sepang but at this track it’s much bigger.
“There are only two places where you can open the throttle 100 percent. At all other tracks, normally you fully open the throttle in every corner exit, but this isn’t possible here. So, you must ride very smooth because the track is quite narrow and the average speed is incredible fast. Beyond that, the wind was an issue today to hold the line. With the MotoGP bike, it’s definitely a bit more complicated here but overall, it’s a lot of fun to ride at this awesome circuit.
“This morning it took a few turns to get a proper rhythm. But soon after we put in new tyres and the times came immediately. I could do a strong lap time, I’m happy with. After lunch time, we tried and tested some small changes to the bike and we were looking to improve our lap time. But this was a difficult task because the bike felt very soft for some reason. I didn’t succeed. We must look on this now because in comparison to this morning I couldn’t go faster than 1´30.9 though conditions were similar and the bike was almost the same.
“Nevertheless, we can be pleased with our work done today and we have clear ideas for tomorrow already. First, we must solve the problem, why the bike felt different in the afternoon. Then we have to deal with the harder front tyre. In contrast to all other riders, I didn’t feel comfortable with it today. This option must also work with us in order to benefit from these conditions.”
Phillip Island MotoGP™ Test – Day one:
1 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 1´29.497
2 Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 1´29.683 +0.186
3 Andrea IANNONE / ITA / Team ECSTAR SUZUKI / Suzuki / 1´29.926 +0.429
10 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´30.578 +1.081