Johann Zarco delivered a sublime performance today at the legendary Le Mans circuit to storm to a maiden premier class podium in the memorable round 5 fight. The home hero began the sprint from 3rd on the grid and quickly surged to the front of the highly competitive field for the opening six laps. After fearlessly dicing with the leaders, the MotoGP rookie met the chequered flag in 2nd to sweeten Yamaha’s 500th Grand Prix win, with the race being won by Maverick Vińales.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger powered to 7th at the Monster Yamaha Tech3 home GP where he delivered a solid comeback charge after a tricky start. The young German fell back to 17th at the beginning, but stuck into a formidable pace and posted lap times which were comparable to his teammate at the end of the Grand Prix. The solid finish leaves Folger confident ahead of the next round at Mugello.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 2nd - Championship: 5th - Points: 55


Johann ZARCO - 2017"The result feels so good and there are many words that I could use, but today has been just great. The conditions were perfect for me in the race with the soft tyre and it was fantastic that I was able to run the pace that I did and to also lead a GP again. I had one flashback of Qatar in my mind, yet, everything was better here than there! Vińales passed me on the 7th lap and from that moment I was just happy to stay with him, and he was fast, but I think that this was the key for me to getting the podium. Rossi was also strong, but it’s a bit complicated to fight in Le Mans because the track is tight, so I was thinking that even though 3rd at the time was fantastic, if they fight like that, maybe something will happen and I can get a better position, and this came true. My result is super and it was so much fun today. The crowd made a lot of noise and there was positive energy. I didn’t feel it at the time, but now I realise that they brought me to the top and now I need to enjoy this moment. I’m a rookie and I am not looking at the Championship and the most important thing is to finish races and collect points, and today I got 20, which is fantastic. I am living in the present and enjoying every round, so if this 2nd place gives me a good advantage in the standing, then I will take it."

Position: 7th - Championship: 9th - Points: 38


Jonas FOLGER - 2017"In the end, it was a positive day, but especially for Johann who finished in 2nd and I am really happy for him. As for my side of the garage, we struggled yesterday and I qualified on the fifth row. However, we knew that my pace was good and better than 15th. The race was hard at the beginning because I was further back than where I wanted to be and it was not easy to overtake or build up a rhythm quickly. Yet, once I started running a good rhythm, I posted some really solid lap times. Now, I need to work on myself and analyse what I can do differently to avoid making mistakes like this, where I start from the middle of the field. I have to be stronger throughout the weekend and improve my pace in the first part of the Grand Prix, but overall I am pleased, we took some important points and the weekend ended in a positive way."

Team Manager


"Finally the French GP is over and like anyone can imagine, I was emotional as well as a bit nervous, but I’m sure that Johann was too! In the end, the race went better than anything we could have dreamed of. Johann had an unreal start, as usual, and ran an superb pace in the first six laps. He was running at the front and on his own, and that is a feeling that much be incredible for a rider. I must admit that we were slightly worried because we decided to use the soft front and rear tyres for both riders, and our main opponents, Factory Yamaha, used the medium compounds. We didn’t experience a high track temperature throughout the whole weekend until today, so we were going into the unknown for the second part of the GP. When Maverick passed Johann, I was a bit relieved, because I thought that our rider would follow Maverick to see where he was quicker, how the tyres compare and whether he could stay with him or let him go. After two-thirds of the distance was completed, things were looking good because the gap back to 4th was increasing and even though Valentino was close to Johann, the possibility of a podium was really increasing with every lap. Valentino, who was very fast in the second part of the sprint, passed Johann and our man didn’t try to challenge him as he just wanted to bring the bike home and get his maiden podium. As everyone knows, there was an incredible battle at the front and it was very unfortunate that Valentino crashed because it would have been a dream to have an all-Yamaha podium for their 500th Grand Prix win. Tonight we are happy because we have the celebration of the Yamaha milestone and there will be an extra nice feeling because of Johann’s podium, but I am sorry for Valentino’s outcome. On Jonas’ side, he recovered well but I have to admit that I am a little bit disappointed. In the second half of the fight, he was posting really solid times as he matched Johann’s pace, plus he was even a bit quicker at some points. Yet, at the beginning, he lost too much time and we have seen this in a few races already. However, the speed is there but we now have to work to find solutions for him. Thanks to both riders and the whole Monster Yamaha Tech3 crew, but especially to the fans who were amazing and it will be a weekend that we will never forget."

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco sent his home crowd wild with a superb qualifying performance to clinch 3rdon the grid for the Grand Prix de France tomorrow. The local hero produced the ride of the day after challenging in Q1, where he notably completed ten high-speed laps without pitting, as he snatched entrance to Qualifying 2 in the final moments. Then in Q2, he stormed to his impressive time at the end of the session to complete an all-Yamaha front row and seal his first top three qualifying position in the premier class.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger will kick off the 5th round of the Championship from 15th on the grid after a determined display in qualifying. Despite a big fall in FP4, the young German picked himself up to bravely contest in Q1. Here, he built up his pace and eventually powered across the finish line to seal the fifth-row start, yet his lap time would have placed him on the second row of the grid in Q2. Nevertheless, tomorrow he intends to undertake a rocket start and then obtain a strong result at the Tech3 team’s home Grand Prix.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 3rd - Time: 1'32.229 - Laps: 6

Johann ZARCO - 2017"The result is fantastic and I am delighted to qualify on the front row for my home race, even if I didn’t expect it. Before the qualifying, I was a bit nervous because of my fall this morning, but I ran a decent pace in FP4 which gave me my confidence back. Then in Q1, I was able to improve my time in the final run and I went on to finish in P2, which was great. After that, in Qualifying 2, I only had one rear tyre that I could use so I waited for a bit, but I watched the pace of my opponents and this encouraged me because I knew that I could do a good job. Eventually, both sessions went really well for me and now I will enjoy this moment because the fans were superb today and they want a podium tomorrow but so do I. Yet, being fast this afternoon gives me the confidence for this, plus the bike was perfect today and the team did a good job. In the race, I plan to stay with the top guys but you have to be calm in order to be fast here in Le Mans so I need to control my emotions and be strong at the start. Then I will fight and hopefully get a podium and if I achieve this, it will be truly awesome."

Position: 15th - Time: 1'32.695 - Laps: 8


Jonas FOLGER - 2017"It was a strange day and I think that maybe I was a bit unlucky because my personal best was positive and when we compare the results, you can see that my time would have put me in 6th. This is a shame but anyway Johann made it into Q2 and set a really good lap and we can see that the Yamaha suits this track very well, so even if I was a bit unlucky today, nothing is lost for tomorrow. I had a small crash in FP4 and this made me lose some confidence but fortunately, I am ok and I still did my best in Q1. Now I have to prepare for the race where I aim to undertake a solid start and then I will ride a consistent pace so that I can gain a lot of positions and finish my team’s home Grand Prix strongly."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo kicked off the team’s home Grand Prix with two determined performances on day one as they battled against the challenging weather in Le Mans. Johann Zarco pleased his fans as he notably completed the day in 3rd overall after an accomplished start in the morning practice whilst the track dried. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger ended up 12th in the combined standings due to his solid FP1 time, and he now confidently looks on to tomorrow where he aims to improve further.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 3rd - Time: 1'39.248 - Laps: 41


Johann ZARCO - 2017"For me, it was a good opening day to my home Grand Prix. FP1 was positive because we started in wet conditions but then it dried and I finished on slick tyres and on my dry bike. This meant that I could ride a solid lap, which may help for qualifying tomorrow and this is very important. In the afternoon, it was totally wet but we completed a lot of laps and learnt how the new asphalt is in these conditions. In order to be confident in the wet I need time, so step by step, I got better, yet the first guy was incredible today. However, I now have some points to work towards and I will stay cool so that I can improve in the future in similar conditions. It was great to ride in front of my fans, and this gives me good motivation because I like the feeling of saying hello to everyone and seeing the fans all standing up around the circuit. Furthermore, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to get around the paddock on the scooter due to all of the fans, but this is definitely a good thing! I have to also say that it is really nice to already know that I will continue with Monster Yamaha Tech3 next year because we are improving at every race which is important, and if I keep progressing, then we can have a nice target."

Position: 12th - Time: 1'41.644 - Laps: 30


Jonas FOLGER - 2017"It was a day of two halves but I am certain that we can achieve what we need to in order to have a successful time on Sunday. FP1 went well even though the circuit was drying at the end and we didn’t alter the bike too much at all. In addition, the new track surface is great and I really like it. However, in the afternoon, we had some issues in the rain and we struggled with the rear grip. I was trying to push but we have to search for another setting because I am loosing too much time on the entry to the turn, and mid corner also. Throughout the practice, I did my best, but in the end, we couldn’t find a solution. Yet, everything else is ok with the bike so now we need to analyse the data and make some plans, but I am sure that we can improve tomorrow."


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