Remarkable Zarco concludes round 4 battle in 4th – Folger notably powers to 8th

Johann Zarco completed a highly impressive rout at the 3000th Motorcycle Grand Prix event today, whereby he finished as the leading Yamaha rider, the top independent competitor and the fastest rookie. The high-flying rookie undertook a memorable charge forward in the opening stages of the race to move up from 6th on the grid to second by the close of the fourth lap. He maintained his consistency before eventually meeting the chequered flag in 4th. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger clinched his third top ten finish of the year as he impressively recovered from slipping back to 14th in the opening part of the Spanish GP. With seven laps remaining, he powered past Valentino Rossi and opened a comfortable gap before speeding across the finish line in 8th.


Johann ZARCO
Position: 4th - Championship:
6th - Points: 35


Johann ZARCO - 2017"I feel so happy about our performance today. Jerez is a complicated track and all of the riders were really close in qualifying so it has been a challenge here. At the beginning of the race, my feeling was great and I felt very comfortable, plus I had the confidence. I was able to overtake some of the top guys and then when I was second, I still felt good. However, I almost crashed twice, which allowed Marc to overtake me and from that moment I was wondering what would happen. I could not push anymore on the front because I was really on the limit and so I wasn’t able to follow the top two riders. I remained in third for a long time, but when Jorge overtook me, I was thinking that I could manage the gap, yet he was more consistent than me in the last eight laps. The target is to be on the podium or as close as possible to it, so we did the job today. I am happy and now I will take a good rest so that I can be strong again for my home race in two weeks. I am positive about going to Le Mans and this is perhaps why I am thinking that everything is going well now, so maybe the most difficult time is yet to come. The best way to control the pressure that I will feel in France is to enjoy every moment, live in the present and appreciate our work."


Jonas FOLGER
Position: 8th - Championship: 8th - Points: 29


 

Jonas FOLGER - 2017"I am pleased with the result today and we collected some important points for the championship. I still need to keep improving, but especially on the opening lap. I made too many mistakes today when we got going, but in the race, when the tyres dropped, my pace was similar to Maverick and Johann and I made up a lot of ground. This seems to be the case so far in my rookie season, but I need to work on myself and analyse the Grand Prix to see what I can do differently so that I don’t lose as many positions in the first five or six laps. It was my fourth point scoring finish this year, which I am happy about, and I hope to make a step up at the next round which will be special as it’s the team’s home race in Le Mans."


Hervé PONCHARAL
Team Manager


 

"It was an unbelievably exciting GP for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. We knew that a good race was possible but the temperature was very high and this circuit gets tricky with the grip when it’s this hot and so the tyres played a big part. At the start, Johann made some really good overtakes to get up to second, and we couldn’t believe how well he was doing, just like in the previous three Grand Prix’s! I thought that he was taking advantage of the softer front than the factory guys and that this would change at the half race distance. Yet, he never slowed down and the tyres were consistent until the finish. I’m sure that he could have made a move on Jorge at the end, but the gap to Dovizioso behind him was increasing all the time, so he wisely decided to bring the bike home and get the points. He was the fastest Yamaha rider and I am honoured that these points will be added to the Yamaha tally in the constructor's championship. I must admit that Johann doesn’t seem to be behaving like a rookie as he was with Marquez, Pedrosa and Lorenzo and he didn’t seem to be struggling to keep up with them at all! This is happening at the best moment because the next round is his home race in Le Mans and I’m sure that everyone will be coming to support Johann and Tech3 there. On the other side of the garage, Jonas Folger produced an incredible ride as well. He was a bit more cautious in the opening laps but then he showed great determination and ran similar lap times to his teammate. Eventually, he caught the group in front of him where Valentino was, and he passed him cleanly before opening up a gap and then meeting the flag in 8th, which is a great team result. Jonas spent a lot of time on his own but the lap times were certainly impressive and just like Johann, he is learning a lot and we are very happy with our two guys. There is a test tomorrow where hopefully both of them will learn more about how to setup and understand their MotoGP bikes. We are a really pleased team and I must say thank you to Yamaha for their superb support and thanks to our riders who both did very well."

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