The Monster Yamaha Tech3 team riders completed a highly successful round 2 battle today after the rookies produced two notable performances aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bikes. Johann Zarco leapt forward from 14th on the grid and quickly set a formidable pace as he climbed through the competitive field. The double Moto2 World Champion fought against the vastly experienced competitors before eventually speeding across the finish line in 5th and as the fastest rookie. Whilst, Jonas Folger ended up one position behind his teammate to clinch a top result at the South American event. The young German kicked off his GP from the 4th row of the grid and undertook a solid start to move up to 8th by the close of the first lap. From here, he set a consistent rhythm as he pushed onwards before hunting down and muscling past Danilo Petrucci on the penultimate lap and then meeting the chequered flag in 6th.
Position: 5th - Championship: 11th - Points: 11
"It’s a happy day for me and we can leave Argentina knowing that we did a good job. I began the race from 14th on the grid, but this did not concern me too much because my feeling on the bike was positive and I knew that I could ride well. In the Grand Prix, everything came together and I was able to fight and overtake my opponents. It was also a bit challenging because a lot happened in the group that I was in, but I kept calm and attacked when I could whilst I held my rhythm and position. Half way through the GP, I was fighting for 4th, but in the end, I couldn’t keep up with Bautista’s pace and he had a good race. I did my best and after the crash in Qatar, it was important to meet the chequered flag and get some points, but to end up in the top five is just awesome so I am very pleased with the result."
Postion: 6th - Championship: 6th - Points: 16
"I felt good on the track today and it’s great to finish our second race in the premier class in 6th. Initially, I was a bit worried because I was not feeling too well last night and I had to take some medicine. Anyway, I had a positive start, which is what I wanted to improve after Qatar, and then I was able to complete the first two laps in an encouraging manner. Unfortunately, I made a mistake shortly after which caused me to lose some positions, yet, I was still in 10th and so I focused on building up a good rhythm. I saw that Petrucci was fighting against his bike because he was pushing hard and burning his tyre, so I tried to save my tyre as much as possible for the end. As soon as I closed in, I was confident that I could pass him, which I managed to do. Johann was a little bit faster than me today, and he is my target. Like every Sunday, he is quick and has a really strong pace, so I have to keep working on myself to analyse what I can do to beat him. Nevertheless, we can be very happy with our performance and I can’t wait to get going again in Texas."
"It was a great race by our two rookies and we can leave Argentina feeling positive. We were a bit nervous on the starting grid because the entire weekend was tricky due to the ever changing weather. We didn’t know what to expect, especially after the disappointment of Qatar. Yet, both riders got off to decent starts and then they put their heads down and rode solid rhythms. Johann Zarco did really well and made a lot of aggressive, yet clean passes as he climbed through the field, just like at the start of the Qatar GP. Once again, Johann has proven that he is comfortable on the YZR-M1 and that he intends to fight for top five finishes, hopefully on a regular basis, as well as for the top rookie honours. On the other side of the garage, Jonas Folger also had a very strong race. We were even more worried for him because he had a stomach bug on Saturday night. However, he powered on and brought the bike home in 6th, which enables us to be second in the MotoGP Team Championship, just behind the Factory Yamaha team, and that is a big achievement. I want to congratulate Maverick and Valentino for their results today, but moreover, I must thank the YMC engineers, managed by Mr Tsuji and Mr Tsuya, who have given us a fantastic bike for our rookies to learn and fight with. Tonight we are a very happy team and I want to congratulate our two riders and thank the entire crew who have worked hard in Argentina. We now have a week to rest and then hopefully, we can pick up from where we left at the next round in Texas."