Impressive Tech3 duo confident for 2017 after highly positive end to Qatar test
Today Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco both successfully concluded the final preseason test with two noteworthy performances and now await the first race of their rookie campaigns with full motivation. Jonas Folger once again delivered a top performance on the Yamaha YZR-M1 to finish the test as the leading rookie and in 8th, just three-tenths of a second behind Dani Pedrosa in third, as he also completed a confidence-boosting race simulation today. Whereas Johann Zarco continued his swift adaptation to his MotoGP bike as he too completed a long run and eventually finished only 0.093 behind his teammate but ahead of current World Champion Marc Marquez, having cut 0.805 from his fastest time from the first day. The fired up pair will return to the track and will seek to impress in their first GP in the premier class at the highly anticipated season opener in ten days time in Qatar.
Position: 8th - Time: 1'54.807 - Laps: 131
The team and I kept the momentum going and completed another positive test here in Qatar and now I think that we are ready to start the season. Our priority today was to run a race simulation which we did at the end and this was very good for us because I ran some really consistent lap times and the engine mappings that we prepared, worked as we expected them to. It was interesting to see how the tyres performed and I gained some solid experience so now I have more of an idea about what to expect in a Grand Prix. Throughout this test, I have learnt a lot and I have built up more confidence with the bike again, especially in the simulation, where I rode safely. This was very important because the fall at the Phillip Island test when I was doing a long run made me lose some confidence. Now I understand the Yamaha better, particularly when the conditions are changing and I can adapt well. We will see what I can do on the race weekend because its a different story altogether when compared to testing but overall, the team and I can be very happy about the preparation that we have done this winter.
Position: 10th - Time: 1'54.900 - Laps: 151
The final day of the test went really well for me and I am excited about returning to the track soon for the start of my rookie season in the premier class. Today I completed a race simulation, which was important because it allowed me to gain valuable knowledge about how the bikes behaviour changes over 22 laps. Even though I may not have been super fast, the experience was the most significant thing and I was consistent with my times also. My confidence improved throughout the three days, which I am really happy about, and today I made the most of the soft tyre by setting a solid lap time and ending up in a good position. Overall, we completed this test in a very positive way and now I can start the race week on a better level, plus I understand more about the high level of potential that the Yamaha has. In addition, I finished close to some of the top riders and this gives me further motivation, but its great that Jonas was so quick because we are both competitive and we can grow together. Now I will go home and do some training, stay calm and then wait for the race weekend where I aim to do a good job.