#QatarGP: Happy about top ten in first MotoGP race
However, Jonas Folger could find his usual performance just at halfway point of the race during Sunday evening’s Grand Prix of Qatar.
It is to expect that the 2017 edition of the spectacular night race will last for a long time. Whilst the race itself offered a lot of drama, of course, but first of all the unusual weather conditions during the last days will be decisive. Even on Sunday, a brief rain shower led to a delay in the starting procedure.
The latter was occasionally a reason, which caused Jonas Folger a bit confused. During the warm up lap, riders noticed that the track was still wet in some areas and therefore the starting procedure was aborted. The opening race of the new season was finally started with a considerable delay and shortened by two lap because the riders got two warm up laps to check the track conditions. In this way, they were able to check it at racing speed almost.
When the red lights went out for the first time at least, Folger came off well from eight position on the grid but due to the hectic during the opening lap he was a bit too cautious and lost many positions. It took a while till the 23-year-old German could find his pure speed with which he took care of surprise during the winter tests as well as during the days of practice in Qatar. Folger finally displayed a great comeback after he finished the first lap just in 18th position.
After the long-awaited start of the championship, the series continues with its usual two-weeks rhythm. Next destination during the busy opening stage with three oversea races is the Argentina round at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit in the northern part of the South American country.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), 10th (World Championship position 10, 6 points):
“I’m really pleased with today’s tenth position in my first MotoGP race. But it could have been better because I was a bit too cautious at the beginning maybe. However, it was difficult to judge the track ‘s condition after the brief rain shower prior to the race start. In any case, the situation at the start was very confusing. I didn’t know what to do so, I remained seated on my bike and tried to stay focussed and concentrated. But during the first few laps I was too precarious and in addition, I wouldn’t like to take the first opportunity to make a stupid error to create negative attention. From that point I was probably a bit too timid and got passed by many other riders – I just was too slow.
“Beyond that, we had problems with the weight transfer because the bike was very high. With a full tank, it was really a problem. But as soon the fuel got less by halfway point of the race, the situation improved significantly and I was able to recover quickly. From this point of time, I felt a lot more comfortable and I was riding easy and relaxed actually likewise during testing. Anyway, my pace was very competitive in the later stages. I think, I could have been able to fight for a top six position. But I failed it at the beginning, because the first laps were my weak point today.
“In this respect, I must work on myself, as well as we have to adjust the bike with a full tank. Of course, it’s a pity that I lost two positions in the final lap. I already past Jack (Miller) when I made mistake a bit later. Besides, I’ve never seen my pit board so, I didn’t know at any time how many laps to go. Otherwise I would have pushed even harder in the last few laps. But for the first race, this tenth position is ok. We have collected some good points and didn’t crash as many others did. Although, there were definitely more on the table. We know this and we also know that we have the speed for it. But as said, it failed because of a less good first part of the race.”
MotoGP™ GP of Qatar – Race Result after 20 Laps (107,6 km):
1 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 38´59.999
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / Ducati / +0.461
3 Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / +1.928
10 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / +15.069
MotoGP™ World Standings:
1 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 25
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / Ducati / 20
3 Valentino ROSSI / ITA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 16
10 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 6