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.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 5th - Championship: 11th - Points: 11

Johann ZARCO - 2017"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

Johann ZARCO - 2017"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."

Team manager

"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."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair fought against the tricky conditions this afternoon to clinch two solid grid positions for the main event tomorrow. Jonas Folger progressed straight through to Q2 due to his 8th place finish in the combined rankings, and he leapt into action when the qualifying commenced. Ultimately, the young German qualified as the top rookie and he will kick off the sprint from 11th on the grid. Whilst Johann Zarco will launch forward from one row behind his teammate. His personal best from FP2 left him 13th in the overall standings, which put him into the Q1 shootout. Here, he dug deep before posting his quickest lap in the final moments of the super competitive session. The Motul sponsored Argentina Grand Prix will begin at 16:00 local time or 21:00 in central Europe.

Position: 11th - Time: 1'49.825 - Laps: 7

Jonas FOLGER - 2017"It was a tricky situation today but I did my best and now I am looking forward to the fight tomorrow. In FP4 the conditions were fully wet, yet, the front suspension on my bike was a bit too hard, so we softened it for qualifying. However, then the asphalt started to dry in QP2 and we didn’t have time to change the settings back. In the end, we fitted a new tyre, which put more load on the front, but I was still a bit limited. Nevertheless, I think that we are in a decent position to fight for some good points tomorrow. We made progress from yesterday regarding how the Yamaha handles the bumps at this track so we will see how the pace is on the race bike in warm up, but I am feeling positive and I’m sure we can do a solid job."

Johann ZARCO
Postion: 14th - Time: 1'49.916 - Laps: 8

Johann ZARCO - 2017"For the Argentina Grand Prix I will start from the fifth row of the grid but I am confident and we expect to have a good race tomorrow. Unfortunately, I was not able to get into the top ten in FP2 and then it was not possible to lower the lap time in practice this morning due to the rain. Having said that, the work that we have completed is satisfying and my confidence with the bike is always increasing. I feel good on the track here, and I can control the YZR-M1 well, but I wasn’t in the top ten yesterday afternoon because we didn’t play enough with the tyres and do a quick lap at the right moment. I was a bit unlucky and it’s a shame to not be a bit further up the grid, but I will learn from this. Still, I feel comfortable on my Yamaha and the overall feeling is very positive so let's see what we can do."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo delivered two encouraging performances as they got straight to work in South America. Jonas Folger produced a spirited display to conclude the opening day as the fastest rookie and in 8th overall. His personal best in FP2 was just 0.277 back from third after he kicked off the weekend with a strong run to 4th in the morning. Whilst Johann Zarco commenced his round 2 campaign with an impressive ride to 3rd in FP1, which resulted in him being only 0.218 adrift of the fastest time. He then pushed onwards in the afternoon, before finishing 0.183 back from his teammate and ahead of Factory MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa by 0.005. The action will resume at 09:55 tomorrow morning, or 14:55 in central Europe.

Position: 8th - Time: 1'40.157 - Laps: 40

Jonas FOLGER - 2017"With it being my first time at this circuit on a MotoGP bike, today went quite well. The track has a low grip level so we focused a lot on the electronics as well as the power delivery, plus the team and I also experimented with the tyres a bit. At the end of the day I am 8th and the fastest rookie, so we can be pleased with what we have achieved so far. I know that I can especially improve in the first sector because I am losing some time there, as that area of the track is quite bumpy and I need to build my confidence in the first two corners, where some people have crashed already. We will analyse the data tonight so that we can understand how to be faster, and let's see what we can do tomorrow."

Johann ZARCO
Postion: 12th - Time: 1'40.340 - Laps: 40

Johann ZARCO - 2017"Overall I am happy and both of the sessions went quite positively for me. We worked well and made constant steps forward which is important as well as encouraging, plus my rhythm is good and I feel comfortable on the bike. However, at the last corner, I am losing a bit of time so we need to understand how we can improve the grip at that section of the track. This is the only area where I was not able to advance on my personal best from FP1. Therefore, it’s a bit of a pity because this limitation meant that I didn’t finish inside the top ten, and if it rains tomorrow, as it is expected to, then I will need to compete in QP1. Yet the most important thing is to stay on the pace and keep working in order to be ready for the second race of the 2017 season."


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