Johann Zarco aims to conclude his memorable debut season in the premier class with a podium finish at the last round showdown in Valencia. The French sensation has already been crowned the 2017 Top Independent rider as well as Rookie of the Year and his target is to power to another notable result on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will not participate in the Valencia GP as he continues to recover, and the returning WorldSBK front-runner, Michael van der Mark will replace him. The Dutch rider impressively fought to 16th at Sepang and intends to deliver another strong performance this weekend.
Championship: 6th - Points: 154
“It’s already the last Grand Prix of the season and the year has gone quite quickly but very interestingly. I am so happy to go to Valencia with this high level of confidence and a positive feeling from the last few races. I will see what my potential is on Friday and Saturday, yet, if I can be competitive and remain with the top three riders, then I hope to fight for another podium. In fact, why not try and go for the first victory? Let's see, but for sure I want to enjoy the Valencia GP a lot.”
Michael van der Mark
Championship: Not Classified
"It’s a shame that Jonas cannot ride in Valencia, but I am really honoured that Hervé asked me again because I think it showed that I did quite a good job in Sepang. I have not ridden in Valencia for a long time, but hopefully, it will be a little bit easier than the race in Malaysia, now that I know the bike, the tyres and the brakes more. The most important thing is that I hope we have a normal dry weekend, where I can ride a lot of laps and improve myself together with the bike. I just want to make steps forward and close the gap to the front guys plus, just enjoy the occasion because it's an amazing opportunity.
“It has already been a year since Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger rode the YZR-M1 for the first time and it feels like yesterday. Not only have we done the winter tests together, but the whole season and now we arrive at the last round of the 2017 campaign. It is exciting yet, also a time to look back at what we have achieved and I think we can be quite proud of what has been done by the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Our riders did a great job, although Jonas, unfortunately, could not finish the year with us due to him having to fight a tough illness and we really hope he recovers well. Regarding Johann Zarco, there isn’t much to say that hasn't already been said. Rookie of the Year, Best Independent rider, two podiums, two pole positions, as well as many unbelievable memories. The last time we were here, we tested and it was successful, however, the bike and the rider have certainly improved. I’m certain that Johann will want to finish the season on a high note with another strong performance. I would like also to welcome Michael van der Mark for his second MotoGP event with Monster Yamaha Tech3. We were quite happy to see that he finished 4th in the second WorldSBK race in Qatar and close to the leading group. This is hopefully a sign that he is in good form and I’m sure that this time he will feel more at home on the YZR- M1 and with the Tech3 team, having worked with us in Malaysia. He can go out, have fun and show his true potential. There are a lot of things that will happen during this weekend, and the championship is still to be decided between Marc Marquez and Andrea Dovizioso. Everyone has a good reason to push and finish the year on a high note. I will say to everyone following MotoGP and our team, come and support us at this last race, which will be the definite end to a great and memorable MotoGP season.”