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Moto3: Jonas Folger - Q&A

5 September 2012

Q:
First of all congratulations! How does it feel to have almost doubled your career podium tally in just two races?

Jonas Folger:
I feel very strong. Last year I won a race but it was in the wet, in very different circumstances. Personally I think a dry win, like Brno, is much more significant. The two podiums in the last two races, especially the win, make me feel much stronger. It confirms that with hard work and the material I have available to me now I can be fighting for the podium at every race.

Q:
It is a shame the season only really 'started' for you at Indianapolis. . .

Jonas Folger:
The first half of the season was very difficult for me. I was racing for a different team and the objectives were very different. I was fighting to finish races. Now everything has changed, I am more relaxed and I just have to focus on riding. Everything else at the Mapfre Aspar Team works perfectly.

Q:
What do you think about the new Moto3 class?

Jonas Folger:
It is not really that different to 125. I would say there is more of a difference between Moto2 and 250. Obviously the engine braking and chassis are different but personally speaking in terms of riding the bike there are quite a lot of similarities between the old 125s and the current Moto3s.

Q:
What do you hope to achieve in the near future?

Jonas Folger:
I want to take things race by race and enjoy every Grand Prix without added problems, without worrying if something is going to go wrong with the bike. My objective is to give everything I have to be on the podium at every race, or at least close to it. I also need to work on improving in qualifying. At Indianapolis we started fifteenth and then tenth at Brno, so we need to work on qualifying higher up. We need to keep our feet on the ground of course because we have only had two races together and I need to continue to adapt.

Q:
How have you been welcomed by the Mapfre Aspar Team?

Jonas Folger:
With open arms. They are a really outgoing group with no egos. Everybody knows their job and their responsibilities so there are no misunderstandings or bad organisation. It is a friendly atmosphere and that makes communication easy. If something doesn't work a solution is quickly found.

Q:
What has being in a new team done for you?

Jonas Folger:
The Mapfre Aspar Team's main asset is experience. The way they work is very different to any team I have worked for before. Every team member is clear about their job, everything is perfectly co-ordinated and that makes it easy to work. I always feel like they are around me, asking questions and making sure they know what I need to go faster.

Q:
Have you spoken much with 'Aspar' himself?

Jonas Folger:
It is great to have him so close. He congratulated me on the podiums and he was very happy for me. He told me we had made a strong start but that we had to keep working. He is always in the box, watching what we do, asking questions and concerning himself about our performance. He is in control but leaves us free to work as we want. I have only had two races with the Mapfre Aspar Team but I hope my relationship with Jorge can get gradually stronger.

Q:
What is the Kalex-KTM like to ride?

Jonas Folger:
It is a very sensitive bike and I loved it from the moment I rode it for the first time. We took some big steps with it in a short space of time and now we are on the road to finding the optimum set-up. The team and me have been able to work out my riding style and make small changes to the base set-up that best suit it. It is a reliable bike and not too small, like some other Moto3 bikes, so it's perfect for me.

Q:
What went through your head during such a tough start to the season?

Jonas Folger:
The bike was breaking down in almost every session and then in the races too. It could manage only five or six laps maximum so that was difficult to take and my motivation hit rock bottom. Luckily my manager kept on at me to keep trying even though the bike was not competitive. I had to keep pushing hard to make sure I was ready if a better opportunity came up. He helped me to stay patient and be strong in my mind even though the situation was difficult. Finally the Mapfre Aspar Team gave me this opportunity and now I am on cloud nine. When you have to go through a period of suffering you realise how difficult it is to get the right material and the right team.

Q:
Your podium at Indianapolis was well worked. You seemed to read the race perfectly.

Jonas Folger:
Starting from fifteenth on the grid I honestly didn't think I would be ale to make so many positions up from the start. It was a tough race and I struggled to stay with the lead group over the early laps. I made a couple of mistakes and lost touch but I worked really hard to catch them again. Then it was a case of sticking in there and taking my chances on the penultimate lap. After that I pushed hard to hold my position and then of course the crash for ViƱales on the last lap gave me the podium. It was a fabulous race.

Q:
And then one week later you moved up to the top step at Brno!

Jonas Folger:
I knew when we lined up on the grid that it was going to be a tricky race. There was only one dry line and every rider was going to want to be on it. Starting from tenth it was difficult to make overtakes with everybody hugging the same line but I took a few risks and made some passes around the outside on the damp track. The first eight laps were horrendous but I was so focused, riding on the limit and knowing that one tiny mistake could end the race for me. But I also knew that if I pushed hard from the start and took a few risks I could open a gap that they would struggle to recover and that proved to be the case.

Q:
How did you feel when you crossed the line?

Jonas Folger:
Wow! It's difficult to explain, I really can't put it into words. I had been so focused for the whole race that I struggled to believe that I'd won. A whole flood of emotions came out. To score back-to-back podiums after such a difficult period, to feel competitive again, to win again, to prove that with the right bike and the right team there is no limit to what I can achieve, to simply enjoy my racing again... it was a wonderful feeling.

Q:
Finally, how would you describe Jonas Folger?

Jonas Folger:
I am a calm person. I have changed a lot in the last eighteen months and now I am more relaxed. I am more focused on my job and thanks to that I am enjoying it more and more. Now I have things clear in my mind and I have a longer-term vision.


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