Jonas Folger produced a fully determined effort today in the dramatic Czech GP to finish inside the top ten despite the difficult circumstances. The young German leapt forward from the fifth row of the grid and quickly set into a strong race pace. He opted to swap to his dry bike shortly after the GP began due to the drying track, yet a miscalculation by the team forced him to pit again one lap later. The change over left him down in 21st, but he remained focused and ran a formidable rhythm that was comparable to the leading bikes, and he muscled his way up to 10th by the fall of the flag.
Meanwhile, Johann Zarco concluded the shootout in 12th. The rapid French rider undertook a strong start as he began the hunt for a top finish. The track proceeded to dry quickly and Zarco decided to take the risk and pit later than the rest of the field. He changed bikes on the seventh lap and rejoined the sprint in 16th, but then produced a solid pace and charged forward before crossing the finish line in 12th.
Position: 10th - Championship: 7th - Points: 77
“In the end my feeling on the bike was good, but it was a difficult race overall. When we began, it was wet but the track was drying up quickly. I was behind Marquez and I saw that he entered the pits so I decided to follow him in. Unfortunately, there was a mistake and I had to go through the pit lane but I couldn’t change bikes, so I had to pit again on the next lap. I lost some time but overall we found a good solution with the bike because we tried a different setting, which I have never tried before, so we took the risk to use this option in the race and it paid off. I rode some really good lap times, and I think that we could have been very competitive today, but I did a lot of work and overtook many riders. It was a shame about what happened but everyone makes mistakes, and this is racing. We still walked away with some championship points and we will try again in Austria.”
Position: 12th - Championship: 6th - Points: 88
"It was a tricky race and I can’t hide my disappointment. We started the GP with rain tyres and I felt good so I hoped that we wouldn’t have to pit and that I could manage the Grand Prix like this, even if it was drying. Yet, the track cleared up very quickly and the strategy was to come into the pit lane to change the bike but I did this one or two laps too late and I lost almost ten seconds. If this didn’t happen then I could have been inside the top six. It’s all about experience and it’s always complicated to analyse and know if it will rain or not. Valentino was in front of me and he pitted, so I thought that maybe if I did one more lap, it could be beneficial. Yet, I lost more time and this a shame, but it was important to finish the race, take some points and learn. I have gained a lot of knowledge this weekend and I need to stay cool so that I can be fast in Austria.”
“Today we have a bad feeling after the MotoGP race. I feel that we worked well throughout the weekend even though our qualifying positions were not ideal. Yet, we knew that the difficult weather and track conditions could benefit us. Jonas was very fast and he showed this in every session, especially at the right moments. Although he didn’t manage to make a fast lap for qualifying, his pace was really exciting and promising. He had an ok start, but the big turn of the race for the Tech3 team was when Jonas pitted and the bike, with the full slick tyres, was not ready so he had to do one more lap, which ended any hope for fighting for a top position. I was even more upset when I saw the times that he was running because his pace was strong and I don’t want to talk about what could have been, but if you look at his laps, then he would have been at the front and it would have been a podium for sure. I am really unhappy about this situation and in this kind of race you either lose it or win it with the strategy, and the bike should have been ready, which is easy to say now, but it needed to be. As for Johann, it was very exciting to see him fighting for the lead in the first part of the GP, but he made a mistake, in my opinion, because he should have pitted when Valentino did who was already late. If he had done this, it would have helped him to get a top five result. This weekend he was not as quick as his teammate because we saw that when Jonas caught and passed him, it helped Johann to up his pace. Anyway, this is a bad result for us today, and it was because we didn’t use our heads. I can only apologise to Jonas and the German fans and for Johann, he should watch what the experienced guys are doing in front of him.”