The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair depart the Circuit Ricardo Tormo feeling fired up for the forthcoming season after once again thoroughly impressing on only their second day aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1’s as the rookies gathered more knowledge of the premier class motorcycles. Jonas Folger turned heads with another superb performance as he finished the test inside the top ten, with a time that was only 0.973 from the top of the standings. Whilst Johann Zarco made further encouraging strides forward as he finished a mere 0.067 behind his teammate and in 11th, ahead of numerous experienced MotoGP riders.

Jonas Folger

 Position: 10th - Time : 1'30.948 - Laps: 63


Jonas Folger - 2016"Overall, it was a very successful time for us and we can leave feeling happy about what we achieved. The plan was to carry on from where we finished yesterday which meant that I continued to work a lot on my riding style. We completed a lot of laps and it was a long day but we collected a large quantity of data, which we needed to gather. Also, the Tech3 team and I started to alter the bike slightly to see which direction that we could possibly head towards in the future. I still need to adjust my riding style with regards to running the worn tyres, but on the whole, it was a positive day and I was able to round it off by setting a good lap time. Thanks to the crew for their efforts and I look forward to getting back on my Yamaha in the future."

Johann Zarco

Position: 11th - Time: 1'31.015 - Laps: 61


Johann Zarco - 2016"Today was really positive and I am truly satisfied about the work that we undertook. As soon as we started this morning, I was able to run at a similar pace to yesterday, where I was pushing, so it was good to have a bike that I was comfortable with and that I could be fast on straight away. Every time that I left the pit box, I was stronger and I improved my lap times quite consistently. The Tech3 team did a super job and I was able to adapt my riding style more to suit the Yamaha. I am feeling more confident on the M1 which I am really happy about and a 1’31.0 lap is a great target to achieve, plus I was only one second from the front which is very pleasing and a solid way to close the test."

The all new 2017 Monster Yamaha Tech3 line up got straight to work today at the post-Valencia GP test where they made their highly anticipated debuts on the Yamaha YZR-M1. Jonas Folger impressively finished the opening shakedown as the fastest rookie and ahead of some vastly experienced MotoGP riders, with a personal best time that was only 1.520 from the top. Meanwhile, the exciting French talent of Johann Zarco also rode at a notable pace and he finished just 0.012 behind his teammate as he got to up to speed with the premier class machine. The final day of testing will commence tomorrow where both rookies will continue to gather knowledge of the bike that they will contest next season with.

Jonas Folger

Position: 16th - Time : 1'32.450 - Laps: 52


Jonas Folger - 2016"I’m very happy about my debut on the Yamaha because it was an exciting moment and overall, a great experience. Of course, the first outing was special and there was a large amount of information to absorb, but I started to get used to the YZR-M1 quite quickly and I’ve already learnt a lot. In addition, the team was also really helpful and they told me about what I had to change on the bike. The main goal was just to begin adapting to the Yamaha and to the MotoGP riding style, but we are all pleased about the progress. The thing that surprised me the most was the smoothness of the engine with all of that power and also the top speed, which is incredible. The bike is very impressive and it was fun to ride with such a strong yet controllable engine. Tomorrow, I aim to carry on from where we stopped but first, this evening I will study all of the data and then start comparing myself to some other riders. In addition, when I get back on the track, I will continue familiarising myself with the bike, and then we may possibly begin adjusting it later in the day."

Johann Zarco

Position: 17th - Time: 1'32.462 - Laps: 61


Johann Zarco - 2016"My debut on a MotoGP bike was very interesting, however, it was a bit tricky because I had to get used to a new motorcycle after many years in the Moto2 class. There is a lot to learn and many factors that I have to adapt to. My approach to this is to take everything step by step because of course, I will not be able to change in one session and I will need some time to comprehend everything. I am making progress and we finished in not a bad way at the end of the day and so this is the positive point. The Tech3 team understand my style of riding and I can see that with the YZR-M1, there are some really specific things that need to be undertaken in order to be fast. I have gained a lot of knowledge, but it will take time to improve and to adapt the bike, when necessary, to my style. It was a positive first day, but slightly more challenging than what I was expecting."

Pol Espargaro produced a superb display in his final MotoGP race aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 to seize the leading satellite honours in the fiercely competitive season closer. The Spaniard bolted forward from the second row of the grid and undertook a solid first lap whilst dicing the factory riders. From here, he set into a formidable rhythm, which allowed him to progress to 7th with just under a quarter of the race having been completed. Espargaro powered onwards and continued his consistent pace to expertly keep the pursuing factory Suzuki of his brother, Aleix Espargaro, at bay. The distance dialed down, and then on the penultimate lap, the 25-year-old hunted down the 2016 GP winner Andrea Dovizioso. Espargaro dug deep and eventually soared across the finish line ahead of the Ducati rider by only 0.039 of a second, in what was a nail-biting but impressive end to his Tech3 campaign.

Bradley Smith ended his six-year partnership with Tech3 by concluding the 30-lap sprint in 9th after a determined performance at Valencia today. The Briton, who started from the head of the fourth row of the grid, quickly got on the pace as he weaved his way around the first lap, which he completed in 11th. He pushed onwards whilst battling against the tight and meandering track, and his strong lap times saw him open a comfortable gap to the following rider. At just over the mid point of the GP, the 2015 leading satellite rider was back inside the top ten and running in 9th and from here, he maintained his consistency before meeting the chequered flag in this position. The result marks a positive end to what has been a challenging season for the 25-year-old, that has included a serious knee injury which he sustained in August. Yet, his strong will and determination saw him make his comeback after just seven weeks, and he scored some thoroughly impressive finishes whilst still recovering which helped the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team seize the top independent position in the team standings for the fifth consecutive season.

The whole team would like to express their thanks to both Pol and Bradley for their commitment, passion and hard work over the years, plus also give their best wishes to the riders for their future adventures.

Pol Espargaro

Position: 6th - Championship: 8th - Points: 134


Pol Espargaro - 2016"It was my last race in black and green for Yamaha and the result today marks a positive end to my time with Tech3. This finish will keep my morale, as well as the team’s, up over the winter break and it’s a good way to end our journey together. We concluded the season as it began, which is in the top independent rider position, even if it has been a challenging year at times because unfortunately, we didn’t quite secure the best satellite placement in standings in the end. However, we always did our best and I have to thank the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for giving their all in the years that we have worked together. Plus, I must say thanks to them for teaching me how to ride a MotoGP bike. We’ve shared some happy moments and some not so great ones. Our first year was excellent, but then we had a tough second one, yet in 2016 we have tried to handle the situations as best as we could. With regards to today’s race, I think the opening laps were crucial and sadly, we lost a lot of time there. After though, my rhythm was quite similar to the pace of the factory guys in front of me. For the entire GP, I had my brother behind me, but I was never sure if he was struggling to stay with me, or if he wanted to overtake. Fortunately, I kept him behind which allowed us to catch Dovi, who then acted as a barrier between me and Aleix and I made the most of this. Once again, I have to say thanks to everyone in the team for their work in the past three years and I will take a lot of memories of Tech3 away with me."


Bradley Smith

Position: 9th - Championship: 17th - Points: 62


Bradley Smith - 2016"It was a tricky race, but I gave my all, and to finish in 9th is quite a positive way to end the season after what we’ve been through. We never really found the solution to my issues throughout the weekend, even though, of course, we tried everything that we could. However, for the GP, we definitely had the best setup. When it started, I pushed hard to try to stay with the Espargaro brothers and Cal. It looked like Pol had a bit more pace, especially in the second quarter of the Grand Prix and unfortunately I wasn’t able to remain with him. Although it may have been a bit of an ambitious aim, I was hoping to fight with Pol in our final race with the team. Anyway, at the midpoint, Crutchlow fell and after that, it was a case of finding as much rhythm as possible on my own because there was around a ten-second gap back to P10, plus Pol and Aleix were out of reach. Nevertheless, my main objective was to try to recover as much as possible before Valencia, so that we could get close to where we expect to be, which I feel we achieved with a solid top ten. I’d like to give a big thanks to the entire Tech3 team for all of their work in the past four years in MotoGP and two additional years before that in Moto2. I wish the guys the very best with the new riders for the 2017 season and I’ll come and say bonjour again in the future."


Hervé Poncharal - Team manager:


“This race was a fantastic way to end what has been a brilliant season for MotoGP where there has been a lot of amazing battles and close competition. With regards to us, I am very proud of our two guys, and I think that throughout the weekend, both Brad and Pol have showed incredible fighting spirit and positivity. In this season finale, the weather was on our side, the boys played the game well and we ended up winning the top independent battle with Pol, and Bradley got some strong points in the championship. Both results are important because they helped to keep Tech3 as the best independent team in the standings for the fifth year in a row, which is a great achievement. We are all pleased with the performances of both riders but we are also a little sad to see our adventure come to an end with them. I would like to thank everyone once again; the riders, the entire team and I must also give a special thanks to Milena Koerner, who is leaving the team, for her efforts with Monster Yamaha Tech3 over the years. Hopefully, we will be able to spend some time together in the future.”


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