Sepang Test: Fastest rookie on opening day again
Jonas Folger began his preparation for the 2017 campaign with an impressive pace at the first official winter test.
The 23-year-old German MotoGP rider shone with seventh fastest lap time on day one at the three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit. Therefore, he was again fastest rookie likewise during the post-race Valencia test last November. Folger and his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team were able to start their schedule backed by valuable findings gained during a private test end of 2016 at the Malaysian track. But the talented rider from Bavaria could impress with competitive lap times throughout Monday’s session, run in hot and humidity condition till a brief rain shower at 4:00 pm allowed him to get his first experience in the wet with the new package for him, including the Yamaha YZF-M1 and the Michelin rain tyres. Also, this trail he completed flawlessly and after this extremely gratifying opening day, Folger targets now to make steady progress during the remaining Sepang test.
Fastest rider on track was two-time MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner who did some work in his role as Ducati test rider. The first winter test will continue with on-track action on Tuesday with track time from 10:00 am till 6:00 pm local time. The entire action can be viewed via motogp.com’s Live Stream.
#94 Jonas FOLGER (Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Yamaha YZF-M1), P7 – 2´00.643 (23/40):
“I’m happy to start in this way into the first test and frankly, I’m also a bit proud. But it was just the beginning and in addition I must admit, that we benefited from our private test in November because we could start with a good base and my feeling was good straight away when I went out first this morning. However, I think I can be happy with today’s performance overall, not only in terms of the result in the timesheets, but also with job done today. The target was first to get back into rhythm riding the M1 and to find the level from the November test quickly. Both we managed well and easy so it was time to make some changes to the setup. But then the rain came. Even though this was a little setback to our daily schedule, it was a welcome opportunity to ride this bike in wet conditions for the very first time. It was a completely new experience for me and I’m impressed of the Michelin rain tyres. Anyway, it was important and it came at the right time to learn and understand something about the package in the wet. Overall, however, I’m not that much surprised about my performance today, because our test here two month ago, went very positively already. My today’s lap time was similar but now we must build on this and make further progress. We may not stop at all at this level. In this regard, we must try and use the next two days to our utmost. In order to improve it will be necessary that I’ll change one or two things regarding to my riding this bike. First and foremost, this applies to braking, which must happen later and much smoother. Beyond that, of course, there are also some changes to the bike to be done because at the moment we still use a setting which I was used to braking from the Moto2 machine. This was certainly a help for the conversion, but from now on it goes to make the next step in this highly competitive class.“
Sepang MotoGP Test – Session 1:
1 Casey STONER / AUS / Ducati Team / Ducati / 1´59.680
2 Andrea DOVIZIOSO / ITA / Ducati Team / Ducati / 1´59.757 +0.117
3 Maverick VINALES / SPA / Movistar Yamaha MotoGP / Yamaha / 2´00.129 +0.449
7 #94 Jonas FOLGER / GER / Monster Yamaha Tech 3 / Yamaha / 2´00.643 +0.963