FOLGER SO CLOSE TO HOME MOTOGP WIN
German hot-shot storms to podium after taking the fight to Marquez
Jonas Folger stunned the 77,000-strong home crowd at Sunday’s German Grand Prix – taking his first Motogp podium and at the same time becoming the first German in 30 years to stand on a premier class podium.
Folger’s second place finish was also a major result for Herve Poncheral’s Monster Tech 3 Yamaha squad which has now seen both its rookie signings – Folger and Frenchman Johann Zarco – score home-round podiums.
Speaking after an impressive tussle with Sachesnring race-winner Marc Marquez, the normally reserved 23-year-old Folger said: “The race was bigger than any victory that I’ve achieved before. The emotions are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, the adrenaline makes you forget everything, and watching the crowd at the side of the track go mad is extra motivation!
“Every rider was celebrating with me – even Vale came to me and gave me his hand! It’s a moment that I’ll never forget, and it means more than anything I’ve ever had before. More than any win in Moto2 or Moto3.”
The Tech 3 rider put on a stunning display in Sunday’s race as he first powered his way through from a strong second row qualifying position to hunt down Marquez’s Repsol Honda and then lead the race – an experience that he admitted to MCN was something he barely had time to contemplate thanks to the cut and thrust of the battle with the reigning world champion.
“It was a strange feeling, because I expected Marc to overtake me again in every corner. But after a few laps, I realised that my pace wasn’t so bad and that I might be able to lead. I didn’t want to do the whole race in front though, and when I made one mistake and he got through, I just tried to get in behind him and save my tyres.”
And while Folger might not have had the pace in the closing laps to make a bid for the win, he demonstrated just how much he’s learned in only nine races in the class by keeping his cool in the second half of the race to take second from Dani Pedrosa.
“When I ran wide at turn one the second time and lost maybe a second to Marc, I switched the bike to the stronger map and tried to close the gap, but I burned out the tyre. I knew he was gone. I tried to come back, but I almost crashed a few times and told myself to stop, stay calm, and finish.”
And while taking the second place finish shows that team boss and talent spotter extraordinaire Poncheral was right in ignoring paddock critics when he signed the middle-of-the-pack Moto2 rider for the top class, Folger says that there’s still more to come as he builds on Sunday’s result.
“I showed that I can get on the podium, which is a super feeling and a big boost for my confidence. In the past, Johann had a lot of good races but I sometimes didn’t because I made some small mistakes, but I finally feel like I showed my potential. I think that we have to enjoy this moment and take the positive points from here to Brno and into the rest of the season.”
‘Every rider was celebrating with me – even Vale gave me his hand’ JONAS FOLGER