MotoGP: Tech 3 rookies impress at Valencia test

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Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rookies Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco impressed in their first test as MotoGP riders in Valencia this week.

Both stepping up from Moto2, both riders set competitive times on the second day of testing to place just a second off the pace set by quickest man Maverick Vinales. 

The duo were almost inseperable on the timesheets with just 0.067 between them, but it was German rider Folger who came out on top to secure a spot in the top ten with his lap time of 1’30.948. 

“Overall, it was a very successful time for us and we can leave feeling happy about what we achieved,” he said.  “The plan was to carry on from where we finished yesterday which meant that I continued to work a lot on my riding style. We completed many laps and it was a long day but we collected a large quantity of data, which we needed to gather. Also, the Tech3 team and I started to alter the bike slightly to see which direction that we could possibly head towards in the future. I still need to adjust my riding style with regards to running the worn tyres, but on the whole, it was a positive day and I was able to round it off by setting a good lap time. Thanks to the crew for their efforts and I look forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the future."


Twice Moto2 World Champion Zarco added: "Today was really positive and I am truly satisfied about the work that we undertook. As soon as we started this morning, I was able to run at a similar pace to yesterday, where I was pushing, so it was good to have a bike that I was comfortable with and that I could be fast on straight away. Every time that I left the pit box, I was stronger and I improved my lap times quite consistently. The Tech3 team did a super job and I was able to adapt my riding style more to suit the Yamaha. I am feeling more confident on the M1 which I am really happy about and a 1’31.0 lap is a great target to achieve, plus I was only one second from the front which is very pleasing and a solid way to close the test."

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Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing