#QatarGP: “The lap wasn’t perfect, but fast anyway”
Jonas Folger started on Thursday with the same impressive performance as he did during the final preseason preparations two weeks ago.
The conditions during Thursday evening’s opening session were significantly different to the final official three-day testing earlier this month. Strong winds and a lot of sand on track forced a different riding as well changes to the bike’s setting. However, Folger managed it well to adapt quickly.
It took just a few laps, if he could set competitive lap times around the 5.4 kilometres Losail International Circuit. Throughout the 45 minutes long session, Folger found himself amongst the top guns in the time monitor at any time. Close to the conclusion of FP1, Folger and his crew decided to go out again with the softer tyre option, as many other competitors did too. Although the setting of his MotoGP™ Yamaha wasn’t perfect, Folger put in fourth fastest lap time of the first Arabian night this weekend.
The Grand Prix of Qatar, the season opening round, got started with just one free practice on Thursday evening so, the time schedule for Friday sees FP2 and FP3 which are all important to go through Q2 on Saturday evening. The ten fastest riders of the combined free practice time will make this step.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), FP4 – 1´55.587 (15/15):
“I think, it was a good start into the weekend so, we can be pleased with the outcome of today. But, first, it wasn’t easy to get back the rhythm because the track’s conditions were far off from our test two weeks ago. In addition, the wind was an issue too. This was really a proper problem because in corner exit it pushes the bike wide and we had a lot of wheeling. Due to these conditions, you had to fight with the bike many times. In any case, it was a big change with which you had to deal. For tomorrow, we must improve some areas. For the moment, the bike isn’t well balanced so we must work on the front which is a bit too low. This will be our main task tomorrow in order to achieve a better turning in corner entry.
“In addition, some changes to the electronics are necessary. But apart from that all, it might be a very special evening tomorrow. In case of rain, we attend to go out on track in any case to check the conditions. But, first, we’re happy how things went today. We were fast from the beginning again and we were able to improve towards the end of the session. My last lap could have been even faster but I made a mistake in turn one and wasn’t sure if I’m able to gain the lost time back. As many other, we also put in the softer tyre at this point which paid off perfectly.”
MotoGP™ Free Practice Time FP1:
1 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 1´54.316
2 Marc MARQUEZ / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 1´54.912 +0.596
3 Dani PEDROSA / SPA / Repsol Honda Team / Honda / 1´55.210 +0.894
4 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´55.587 +1.271
MotoGP™ Time Schedule for Friday, March 24th (CET):
16:00 – 16:45 FP2
18:55 – 19:40 FP3