The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team duo kick-started their Motul TT Assen campaigns with two strong displays on the opening day of action at the legendary Dutch circuit. The impressive Jonas Folger powered to 2nd overall as he produced a true display of determination by finishing as the top independent rider after bouncing back from a heavy fall in the morning practice. Whilst Johann Zarco undertook a superb start to conclude FP1 in 2nd, before completing the afternoon practice in 8th and ending up only half a second behind his teammate. Both riders aim to continue the positive starts tomorrow in FP3, despite the threat of wet weather.
Position: 2nd - Time: 1'33.497 - Laps: 35
“Today we can be really pleased with the job that we did especially after the tricky start. This morning, I fell after completing only a few corners because I hit the patch of oil from Dovizioso’s bike, which caused me to have a high side. This accident made me a bit nervous about losing my rhythm and my confidence. However, this was not the case when I went back out on the track and even if it took me a while to learn this circuit on the MotoGP bike, I understood the changes well and we made a good step forward. My riding and the direction that we took on the M1 enabled us to achieve a solid lap time, plus we were consistent. So overall, the team and I have finished the day in second, and we must be very happy about what we have accomplished.”
Position: 8th - Time: 1'33.986 - Laps: 41
“It was quite a positive first day and I am ready for tomorrow, even if it rains. I began FP2 with used tyres, which was our plan but then, everyone was improving their times and that made me a bit stressed because it started to rain half way through the session. Fortunately, this wet weather didn’t last for long so when I put on a new soft tyre, at 15 minutes before the end, I made a good improvement. When the tyres had completed eight or nine laps, I was able to run some solid times, which were better than the others and I was also consistent. This was the positive point, and now we just need to find a bit more confidence on the bike. We are expecting rain tomorrow, but we will have to see how the grip is on the track when this happens. I have completed some wet laps on the Yamaha before so I know that I just need to adapt and be confident. In addition, I think that the rain tyres have a very good level of performance in the damp. The 8th place finish today is good in case there is bad weather tomorrow and it means that I will already be in Q2. However, if it is dry, some riders will push a lot to get into the top ten, but whatever happens, I will do my best but be careful.”