Johann Zarco continued his dazzling form aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 in his third race in the premier class to finish 5th at the Circuit of The Americas today. The French rider leapt forward from the middle of the second row of the grid and quickly stuck into a formidable rhythm as he battled against the vastly experienced Grand Prix winners at the front of the field. Eventually, Zarco powered across the finish line in 5th with the result moving him to 7th in the standings. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger fought relentlessly in the gruelling 21 lap sprint in Austin, Texas to seize 11th and seal another solid point scoring result. The young German fully intends to break back into the top ten at the next round in Spain at the Circuito de Jerez in a fortnight.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 5th - Championship: 7th- Points: 22

Johann ZARCO - 2017"I am really happy with the result but the start of the race was tricky and it was not easy to get into a good position at the first turn. However, I felt great on my Yamaha so I started attacking from the third corner, and I was quickly able to overtake my opponents and get into 5th. I wanted to follow the top group so I pushed to stay close to Valentino and I was able to fight with him, which was fantastic. We came very close at one point because I had a bit more speed than him in the third corner, and maybe it was a bit too tight but fortunately, nothing serious happened and he went on to finish second. I really didn’t want to cause a problem for Vale and I know that I can learn a lot from him so luckily, we both recovered. After this, I continued to do my best and at the end of the sprint, Crutchlow was slightly faster, but nevertheless, 5th is just awesome and I am pleased because the podium was close today."

Position: 11th - Championship: 8th- Points: 21

Jonas FOLGER - 2017"It was a tough race and I did my best, but I’m a little bit disappointed, to be honest. However, there are always positives and today, we were just 18 seconds back from the top, plus six seconds behind Dovizioso who finished 6th which is good. Having said that, I made some mistakes in the GP, especially when the bike started to get lighter due to the decreasing fuel load. I was not able to adapt as well as I did in the last GP, and that’s when I lost some positions. Now we have to analyse everything and see how we can move forward. We learnt a lot again this weekend but I have to be able to set the bike up better in the practices and be stronger in the fight. I have scored points in all three races so far, and this is pleasing, but once you reach a certain position, your goals get higher and I aim to make a step up. We know what we can do and we realise that 6th could have been ours if we worked more effectively in the practice. Anyway, I will focus now on the next round in Jerez where I am sure that I can finish in a stronger position."

Team manager

"The weekend ended positively for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team and now it’s time to head back to Europe. Johann Zarco had another incredible Grand Prix and he quickly made up the places he lost at the first corner. By the end of the opening lap, he was 5th before he closed in on Valentino. Then, he stayed with Vale for two-thirds of the race, which is quite an achievement and we must not forget that Johann is a rookie even if he is really strong. He said that he made a few small mistakes so he needs to understand how to adapt his riding style for when the fuel load decreases but this is part of the learning process and we are more than on schedule with our plans. The 5th position today was much more rewarding than the Argentina result because no one crashed in front of us and Johann keeps getting quicker so it was a superb job by him and his whole crew. On the other side of the garage, Jonas also had a solid race. However, we can see that at the moment he doesn’t quite have the aggression early on in the race that his teammate does. Jonas ran some laps at the same pace, or sometimes even quicker than Johann, but it was not regular enough. Anyway, it was another point scoring finish and his results so far have been good and he is 8th in the championship with Johann in 7th. They are both just a few points behind Dovizioso in the standings and in addition, we are third in the team championship and the best independent team. We can be proud of what Johann, Jonas and the crew have achieved at the first three races and now we will fly back to Europe where you can be sure that we will put on another exciting show at Jerez."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 pair starred in today’s nail-biting qualifying shootout in Austin, Texas to seal two top tier grid positions for the headline event tomorrow. With slippery track conditions occurring this morning, both riders graduated for Q2 courtesy of yesterday’s FP2 times, with Zarco finishing in 4th and Folger in 9th in the combined standings. When the session began, Johann Zarco immediately laid down his pace before storming to a personal best that eventually left him just 0.062 behind Dani Pedrosa and as the top independent rider. Whilst Jonas Folger pushed the limit in the 15-minute shootout at the COTA track and will start the round 3 battle from the middle of the third row on the grid after producing a solid effort. The main event will commence at 14:00 local time, or 21:00 in Europe.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 5th - Time: 2'03.928- Laps: 6

Johann ZARCO - 2017"Today went positively for myself and the team and we are very pleased with the qualifying result for tomorrow’s race. In Q2, we used the soft compound of tyre, like almost everyone else, and my feeling was strong on the Yamaha. I set a solid lap time, and I held third at the end of the session, but then Rossi and Pedrosa, who have a lot of experience, were able to improve their times and I ended up in 5th. The result is still fantastic and I will use this opportunity to push for a great finish. I aim to undertake a solid start and then stay with the top guys for as long as possible and learn from them because this is the best way to gain knowledge. Throughout this weekend my ambition has been to work in preparation for the race, but at the same time, I have been able to post a fast lap time whenever it was necessary. So, I am still learning and I will need some more time to get closer to the front, but at the moment everything is going well which is why I can smile."

Position: 8th - Time: 2'04.623 - Laps: 7

Jonas FOLGER - 2017"I am happy with my qualifying result today and I am looking forward to the fight tomorrow in Austin, Texas. We had a bit of a tricky beginning to the day and I had a few issues in the morning. Yet, the team and I worked hard and we found the correct direction to head toward for the qualifying, and here, I got my confidence back. In the end, we scored a solid 8th place on the starting grid which is positive and I know I can do a good job from there. In Q2, Perhaps we could have found a few more tenths, but I made a small mistake at the end. Nevertheless, I am still pleased and tomorrow, if I ride smart and undertake a strong start plus ride a consistent pace, then I know that we can take a lot of points home."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rookie duo kicked off their round 3 campaigns with two highly impressive performances today at the state of the art Circuit of The Americas. Johann Zarco outlined his intentions for the weekend by producing an extremely competitive showing on the opening day. The French rider completed the morning shakedown in 4th and then upped his pace in FP2, which he superbly finished in 2nd and as the leading Yamaha MotoGP rider. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger positively concluded the opening day of action with a strong display as he aims to score a top tier result in Texas on Sunday. The young German sped to 8th overall, with his FP2 time leaving him just 0.227 behind Valentino Rossi in 4th. Both riders now confidently eye up the qualifying tomorrow, with the action commencing with FP3 at 09:55 local time or 16:55 in Europe

Johann ZARCO
Position: 2nd - Time: 2'04.347 - Laps: 34

Johann ZARCO - 2017"We started the weekend in a very positive way and I’m looking forward to pushing more tomorrow. Today I ran a lot of laps on the medium and used tyres in order to get up to speed. Then, at the end of the FP2 session, I went out on the soft compound, which clearly works well at this circuit, and my feeling was strong which is why I could ride a quick lap like in qualifying. We made the right choice by choosing to complete some distance first, and then when we needed to cut the time, I produced a lap which put me in second, so right now the situation is perfect. The track is tough with the constant changing of direction as well as a lot of hard braking points and it costs energy, plus it’s a bit bumpier than last year. However, even though I am still learning, everything is going well so far. We will continue our work tomorrow for the race on Sunday, but before that, I am confident that I can produce a positive qualifying performance."

Position: 8 th - Time: 2'05.033 - Laps: 30

Jonas FOLGER - 2017"It was a solid first day and I’m certain that we can do a really good job here on Sunday. The Circuit of The Americas is such a technical track with a lot of corners, so it took me a bit of time to adapt and find the flow on the MotoGP bike. However, in FP2, on the last run, we put the soft tyres in and I was able to ride quite a positive lap so to finish the day inside the top ten is a strong start to proceedings. There are a few corners where I am making some small mistakes and missing a bit of pace, so I need to sit down and analyse where I am going wrong in order to try to improve myself. For tomorrow in FP3, we will work on the race setup and then once we have found a good pace, we will go for a quick time so that I can get into Q2 in the afternoon. I am certain that we can continue in this encouraging way and I’m excited to get back on my Yamaha."


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