Johann Zarco rocked the Austrian hills and delivered a highly impressive performance to clinch 5th and the top independent honours in the memorable round 11 fight. The French star began the Grand Prix from the rear of the second row and immediately fought in the leading group when it began. He broke the race lap record on the 6th lap and superbly held off a late charge from Maverick Viñales before powering across the finish line to record his sixth top five result in his rookie year.
On the other hand, Jonas Folger’s fight came to a premature end after a technical issue forced the rapid German, who is celebrating his 24th birthday today, to pull into the pits and retire on the third lap. Ahead of the race, Folger determinedly eyed up a top six finish and he began from 13th on the grid. The young gun undertook a rocket start and fought through the first laps before his unfortunate retirement.
Position: 5th - Championship: 6th - Points: 99
“It was a good Sunday and I’m very happy with what we achieved. This morning, the warm up was difficult for me and I was a bit worried about how things would be in the race. Yet, this afternoon, the temperature was high and it was the warmest that it has been throughout the weekend and so the soft compound was the best tyre option. However, it had a great feeling but we were still a bit unsure about what would happen in the GP. Anyway, I am pleased about the start and I was able to fight in the first lap. Then I felt really strong after the fifth lap but it was too tricky to overtake. When I claimed 5th position, the tyres dropped a bit so I tried to manage it. I wanted to catch Lorenzo in 4th however, it was not possible today, and at the same time, I wanted to keep hold of 5th because Viñales was behind me and he was pushing. In the end, it was a perfect finish and I am so happy to be back in the top five. This result is great for the championship as well as my confidence and battling with the leading guys is very exciting.”
Position: DNF - Championship: 8th - Points: 77
"I have to admit that it was a really hard weekend for us and there were many ups and downs. We tried a new chassis but we were unsure if it was better or not at this circuit, and I think in the end I was not getting confident with the track. However, I felt good in the warm up, even if my position was quite low because I was using old tyres. Plus, my qualifying performance was not so bad if we look at the lap time. Therefore, I was feeling confident for the race, but then we experienced a technical issue and I had to retire. This is a shame because I think that we could have done a great job and taken some valuable championship points. Now, we have to analyse what happened so that it won’t occur again.”
“It was an incredible battle at the front of the field and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team is proud to have been part of that fight until half way through the race. Johann did an incredible job and got past both Yamaha riders, even though it was tough, and he also broke the race lap record. Maverick and Valentino were both using the hard compound tyres and our rider was running with the soft so I thought that the second part of the GP could have been challenging, but Johann did incredibly well to preserve his tyres and keep both of them behind him. He was the best independent rider by far and also the leading rookie by even more of a distance. We are pleased with a top five finish and he completed the weekend as the first Yamaha which means that we have gained 11 points for the constructors' championship which will help Yamaha. I am proud of what Johann did today because it was tough and the pressure from Maverick and Valentino was so intense. As for Jonas, I feel very sorry for him. After the big disappointment in the Czech Republic, the weekend was a bit more difficult for him here but he had a great start and I think he would have been inside the top 8. Unfortunately, he encountered a brake issue, which was really strange. We are working with Brembo at the moment to work out what happened because this has never occurred before. Today is Jonas’ birthday and we were hoping that he could have scored a good result to celebrate his day, but sadly, this didn’t happen which is a big shame. We know that he is on form and I want to wish him a happy birthday and I hope he’s going to forget this disappointment quickly. Silverstone is coming so let's hope that our two guys will be fighting for top positions there. Thanks to the whole team because it was a tough way to restart the championship after the summer break but now we have a few days to relax so that we can come back stronger.”