#QATARTEST: Again amongst the top riders during the opening night at the desert track
The 23-year-old MotoGP™ rookie impressed during the opening session of the final season preparations by delivering a strong performance again.
The track’s layout at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar is quite different to Phillip Island where Folger was a truly surprise when he concluded the second three-day testing’s this year in Australia with fourth fastest lap time overall. Nevertheless, Folger was able to beginn the Qatar test in the same way, making his debut at the desert track aboard his MotoGP™ Yamaha YZF-M1.
However, track conditions were less than ideal during the first evening as this test take place in the evening hours like the meanwhile traditional opening race of the championship. But Folger could adapt quickly to this new challenge for him and he found himself within the top three riders for most of the seven-hour’s practice time Friday night. Finally, the German’s best effort was good enough to conclude session one of the final official three-day test ahead of the 2017 World Championship in sixth position.
On-track action at the massive 5.4 kilometres long Losail International Circuit will continue Saturday afternoon at 4:00 pm local time (2:00 pm CET).
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), P6 – 1´55.640 (27/37):
“My first day aboard a MotoGP bike at the Losail circuit was very nice. I was able to get a proper feeling immediately, not only with the Yamaha but also for the track itself. However, the track’s condition wasn’t at its best throughout the entire. But this is normal here in Qatar because there is always a lot of sand on the tarmac on the first day. So, for this it takes a while until the grip is getting better. But the lap times will definitely improve from tomorrow on so it’s then just to stay with the fast guys.
“As said, it’s the first time here for me in MotoGP though I had to get used to the track first. It was just about to find the rhythm and the right lines around this track. The latter isn’t an easy task because of its big width. But both worked out quickly and after four or five exits I was at the pace and we were able to start with working on the setting fairly soon. The confidence with the bike isn’t 100 percent perfect yet but I can feel the limit well although I had to master two, three scary moments during the session when the front folded.
“We’ve worked a lot with both bikes today. This was a very helpful and at the same time immensely important task because last time in Australia we couldn’t decide ourselves which setup of the two bikes works suites better for my riding. My pace was pretty equal with both bike even if the setting of each was very different. But after today’s comparison tests, we know in which direction we must work and with which setting we will develop. In general, it was a great start into this test again and I’m really pleased how we made progress on the results based from last time at Phillip Island so we must keep this momentum for the remaining two days here and collect as much as possible data as soon I go out on track.”
Losail MotoGP™ Test – Day One:
1 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / Ducati / 1´54.819
2 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 1´55.179 +0.360
3 Cal CRUTCHLOW / GBR / LCR Honda / Honda / 1´55.420 +0.601
6 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 1´55.640 +0.821