Jonas Folger says he was pleased to leave his MotoGP debut having achieved his target of a top 10 result after fluffing his opening lap which left him scrapping at the back.
The Tech 3 Yamaha rider conceded nerves from the delayed race start got the better of him at Losail as he dropped from eighth on the starting grid down to 18th at the end of the first lap.
But the German rider regained his composure and eye-catching pre-season testing pace as the race wore on to climb to 10th place by the chequered flag.
"I am happy to finish my first MotoGP race inside the top ten but I still have a lot to learn for the future,” Folger said. “The last part of the GP was good and I was able to recover well. However, the conditions were not great at the beginning, because of the rain as well as the waiting and this made me a bit nervous.”
With the experience of his MotoGP debut under his belt and a full race distance of data to digest, Folger is confident of using the Qatar race as a building block to better things for the rest of his rookie MotoGP campaign.
“I have to take all the positives from this round and focus on the next event,” he said. “I know that I need to work on myself more and also with the team so that we can go quicker at the beginning of the next GP and I can hold my qualifying position.
“I think that we have a solid pace, and now we know where I have to improve so I am confident for Argentina and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
MotoGP debuts: How did Zarco, Folger and Rins stack up?
Folger missed out on the top rookie honour in Qatar by finishing three-tenths behind Alex Rins on the factory Suzuki while Folger's team-mate Johann Zarco impressed the paddock by leading the race until his crash on lap seven.
Cal Crutchlow - Career Profile by Crash_net