There are two Yamahas in the top four positions. The news is that one of them is not Valentino Rossi’s, but rookie Jonas Folger’s. If Maverick and Marc seem to be on another planet, the young beginner in the premier class is following down their path. However, he still has his feet planted firmly on the Earth because this is just a test.
Not bad being behind Viñales, Marquez and Pedrosa.
“I have to be very happy, not only with the time I did, but also with the pace that I was able to maintain. I also had positive feedback from the electronics and the tyres. Today I lapped at around 1’29”, finding the right path to follow straight away. I’ll be going to Qatar with a lot of confidence.”
What changed between Sepang and Phillip Island?
“These are two very different tracks. In Malaysia there are demanding braking sections, whereas here it is a lot faster. I had to drastically change my riding style for this track, but I am pleased with the result.”
Besides the third best time, what is the encouraging aspect?
“I think that I gathered a lot of information. Changing my style was the fundamental aspect. I was able to be very fast on the corners, aware that it was also easy to make mistakes.”
Do you see yourself in the top ten for 2017?
“I don’t have great expectations; I just need to stay calm. As we all know, everything changes in the race, but it wold be important to follow this path.”
If they had told you about the fourth time this morning?
“No, I would never have imagined it, or the final position. After today I can go home happy, especially for the consistency I showed.”
The only black spot is the crash.
“It’s a pity; I was going fast. Unfortunately at Siberia I lost the front end and wound up in the gravel. Even crashes are useful for learning and improving.”