Johann Zarco endured a tricky time today at the Motul TT Assen after an eventful race in front of 105,000 enthusiastic spectators. The rookie powered forward from pole position and spectacularly ran at the front of the field for almost the entire opening half of the race. Then spots of rain began to fall and Zarco took the opportunity to swap to his bike with the wet setup on the 20th lap. However, after climbing to 12th, he was issued with a ride through penalty for exceeding the speed limit in the pit lane. He ultimately finished in 14th, which marks a tough conclusion to an otherwise notable weekend.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger experienced a disappointing end to the Dutch Grand Prix after falling at turn one on the 10th lap. The young German bolted forward from 6th, his best qualifying result of the year, but he ran wide and slipped back to the rear of the pack. However, he began muscling his way through the field, until he fell, marking his first DNF of the year. Nevertheless, the young gun seeks to make amends at his home Grand Prix in Saxony next week.
Position: 14th - Championship: 6th - Points: 77
“Overall, I have to say that today was actually positive. I made a very good start from pole position when it was dry at the beginning, and I took the lead which was a great feeling. No one passed me and I did the best that I could by riding my references. After that, I started to fight with the other riders and we changed places. At two points on the track, I was struggling a lot compared to them, yet I managed to stay in the group for a bit, but then it rained. Honestly, at this point, I was nervous about crashing because we are on the limit anyway but when we see rain, it can be scary. I could not push anymore with the slick tyres, so I took the decision to swap bikes. In the end, it didn’t rain enough to make a difference yet, I could not carry on with my dry bike. This is part of the game and sure, we made some mistakes, which includes a ride through penalty but I didn’t lose so many positions. I want to say that it was a positive Sunday because I was competitive at the beginning and in the dry conditions, plus, I was able to stay with the leaders and fight for the podium. This is the target so we just need to build everything up in order to reach it, but we are close.”
Position: DNF - Championship: 10th - Points: 51
“It’s a real shame about what happened today and I can’t hide my disappointment. First of all, I ran off the track after six corners and this caused me to drop back to last. Then, I tried to fight my way through the group but I couldn’t start a solid rhythm because I was in the mix with some of the slower riders. Anyway, I overtook a few people and I was pushing but then, unfortunately, I fell at the first corner. It’s a pity because some of these riders collected some good points today and I know that I am quicker than them, so we could have done a great job. Nevertheless, I will now focus on my home Grand Prix next week where I am determined to have a strong weekend in front of my fans.”
“This weekend ended in a disappointing way, but we are learning and we will be back stronger in Germany. The performances on Saturday were great, and we all know that Johann clinched an unbelievable pole position and Jonas got his best qualifying result so far. However, there was always going to be the possibility of strange weather and the riders didn’t have a lot of dry track time this weekend so I was a bit nervous on the grid. Our guys decided to choose the full soft tyres, front as well as rear, and Johann had an incredible opening half to the GP. He had a small touch with Valentino, which cost him a bit of time, but from that moment, he held on to fourth. Johann told me that when the first few raindrops fell, it disturbed him more than the guys in front and he couldn’t keep their pace. So, he took the gamble to switch bikes, in case there was a heavy downpour like the one in warm up, yet, unfortunately, this didn’t happen. It’s a disappointing end to the day, but Johann said that we will learn by being at the front, plus, we must remember that he is still a rookie and we are stronger now than when we came here. As for Jonas, I am disappointed because we expected a strong race from him. We know that he is really fast here, but he was pushed off the track and then maybe a bit too impatient to move up the field. It’s a shame, as we believe that he could have easily finished inside the top ten because the laps that he completed were very quick. However, just like Johann, it’s his rookie season and he is learning so we have to stay calm. The good news is that the race next week is Jonas’ home GP which is very important for him and we can’t wait for FP1 on Friday in Sachsenring.”