The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair ignited their rookie campaigns with two highly impressive performances on the opening day of action in Qatar. Young German rider Jonas Folger turned heads by storming to 4th in the solitary practice which he superbly concluded as the top independent rider after setting his rapid time in the final moments of the session. Whereas double Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco surged to 8th after ending up only two-tenths of a second behind his teammate. Both riders fully intend to continue their positive momentum tomorrow with the second practice session kicking off at 18:00 local time.
Position: 4th - Time: 1'55.587 - Laps: 15
"I’m very pleased to finish the first free practice in this way. Having said that, the conditions were tricky because of the strong winds and this made the bike feel so different. Now we have to rebalance the suspension, especially as we were on soft tyres, and we also have to adjust the electronics so that I can hold the line better on the track, and therefore, ride the corners in a smoother manner. Nevertheless, we did a great job and the team and I started my first Grand Prix on the YZR-M1 in a really solid way. I can’t wait to get back on the asphalt tomorrow where I will continue to do my best."
Position: 8th - Time: 1'55.792 - Laps: 18
"The first day went well for me and I am happy that I ran consistently inside the top ten. You never know what the weather will do during the other sessions, so the team and I used some strategies which enabled me to be quick straight away. At the moment, finishing day one in this position is positive and I felt good on the bike. I am pleased that we tested here not long ago and thanks to this, I could make full use of the references that we made. I don’t feel that the circuit is as rideable as it was during the test, but Maverick is very quick so this means that the track is ok, which raises my confidence. Tomorrow’s aim is to reduce the gap to Viñales, because he is top and also a Yamaha rider, so although he has more experience, if I can close in on him I will stay inside the top ten and that is important for the rest of the weekend."