The 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 line up of Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco got straight to work on the first day of testing at Sepang today, as the highly anticipated MotoGP action returned to the track after the winter break. Jonas Folger produced a notable performance to finish in 7th and as the fastest rookie, with his best time leaving him only 0.963 the top. Whilst Johann Zarco consistently built up his pace as he completed more laps than any other full-time MotoGP rider, before ending up just half a second back from Valentino Rossi. The promising riders also completed their first wet laps, after the rain fell in the afternoon, with positive results. The test will resume tomorrow at 10:00 local time where the pair confidently intend to continue their momentum.
Position: 7th - Time : 2'00.643 - Laps: 40
"Today was positive and I am happy with what we accomplished. I had a good feeling as soon as we got going this morning, so we only changed a few settings. After lunch, the team and I aimed to make a step forward with regards to the front of the bike because I felt like I was already close to the limit with my lap times and we saw that I could improve with the braking. Therefore, we made a big adjustment, but when I went back out, the weather interfered. However, we have two more days left to try this setting properly but overall, I am really happy about today, not only with the result, but also with our work. In addition, I was able to ride in the rain for the first time, which was very useful and I felt positive on the wet Michelin tyres. I went out twice and it was important to experience this because it’s different with the brakes. We gained a lot of data and I have started to understand the bike a lot more so I am excited to see what we can do tomorrow."
Position: 14th - Time: 2'01.224 - Laps: 69
"I am happy to be back on the YZR-M1 and we collected a large amount of significant information today. I have not been on the bike for a long time due to the winter break so I took the time and step-by-step, I gained a good feeling. I undertook a lot of laps, but I didn’t just push for two laps and then pit, so when I started, I relaxed and did it how I wanted. In the end, I can be happy about this, even if I could not be as quick as I aimed to be, but I know this will come. I also completed my first wet laps which is important as we must prepare for the season and be ready for any weather condition. I went out when the circuit was fully wet and again, when it was drying, and I got a positive feel for it. I know we will improve every day so I am looking forward to getting back on track."