Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco sent his home crowd wild with a superb qualifying performance to clinch 3rdon the grid for the Grand Prix de France tomorrow. The local hero produced the ride of the day after challenging in Q1, where he notably completed ten high-speed laps without pitting, as he snatched entrance to Qualifying 2 in the final moments. Then in Q2, he stormed to his impressive time at the end of the session to complete an all-Yamaha front row and seal his first top three qualifying position in the premier class.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will kick off the 5th round of the Championship from 15th on the grid after a determined display in qualifying. Despite a big fall in FP4, the young German picked himself up to bravely contest in Q1. Here, he built up his pace and eventually powered across the finish line to seal the fifth-row start, yet his lap time would have placed him on the second row of the grid in Q2. Nevertheless, tomorrow he intends to undertake a rocket start and then obtain a strong result at the Tech3 team’s home Grand Prix.
Position: 3rd - Time: 1'32.229 - Laps: 6
"The result is fantastic and I am delighted to qualify on the front row for my home race, even if I didn’t expect it. Before the qualifying, I was a bit nervous because of my fall this morning, but I ran a decent pace in FP4 which gave me my confidence back. Then in Q1, I was able to improve my time in the final run and I went on to finish in P2, which was great. After that, in Qualifying 2, I only had one rear tyre that I could use so I waited for a bit, but I watched the pace of my opponents and this encouraged me because I knew that I could do a good job. Eventually, both sessions went really well for me and now I will enjoy this moment because the fans were superb today and they want a podium tomorrow but so do I. Yet, being fast this afternoon gives me the confidence for this, plus the bike was perfect today and the team did a good job. In the race, I plan to stay with the top guys but you have to be calm in order to be fast here in Le Mans so I need to control my emotions and be strong at the start. Then I will fight and hopefully get a podium and if I achieve this, it will be truly awesome."
Position: 15th - Time: 1'32.695 - Laps: 8
"It was a strange day and I think that maybe I was a bit unlucky because my personal best was positive and when we compare the results, you can see that my time would have put me in 6th. This is a shame but anyway Johann made it into Q2 and set a really good lap and we can see that the Yamaha suits this track very well, so even if I was a bit unlucky today, nothing is lost for tomorrow. I had a small crash in FP4 and this made me lose some confidence but fortunately, I am ok and I still did my best in Q1. Now I have to prepare for the race where I aim to undertake a solid start and then I will ride a consistent pace so that I can gain a lot of positions and finish my team’s home Grand Prix strongly."