Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Jonas Folger produced a tireless effort to claim 9th in the highly challenging San Marino GP. The young German began the soaking wet race from 16th on the grid and undertook a decent start to move up two places by the close of the first lap. He maintained his consistency in the tricky conditions before finishing the grueling GP inside the top ten, marking a positive close to the weekend.

Meanwhile, Johann Zarco suffered bad luck on the final lap of the race but showed great determination as he wheeled his Yamaha across the finish line after running out of fuel. The rapid French rider began from 6th and ran a formidable pace throughout the sprint, as he held 7th whilst heading into the last lap. The issue then struck but Zarco memorably pushed his bike down the start finish straight to clinch 15th.

Jonas Folger
Position: 9th - Championship: 10th - Points: 84

Jonas Folger - 2017“I am not so happy about this weekend overall, but I did my best. Qualifying was a different story compared to today because I felt good in the dry conditions. In the wet warm up, we decided to change something but we were a little bit unlucky because by the end of the race we understand that it was the wrong direction with the setting. I struggled with the rear grip and the turning in the last part of the GP but eventually, I finished 9th, however, this was due to Johann’s bike giving up. We didn’t have the speed so I am a bit disappointed as I expected more, especially in the wet. Now, we have to look onwards to Aragon.”

Johann Zarco
Position: 15th - Championship: 6th - Points: 110

Johann Zarco - 2017"It was challenging but tough for everyone. In the warm up I saw that I wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, but then at the beginning of the Grand Prix, I felt quite good. I was happy to have control and see that the other riders were not much faster than me. I stayed focused and then I saw Crutchlow and Lorenzo crash, who are dangerous for me in the championship. Because they fell, it made me realise how difficult the conditions were for everyone. The race was long but step-by-step it got less wet, although it did not dry and this gave me some confidence but not as much as I expected. I had to stay focused and in the end, I was managing the gap to Redding quite well so I thought that everything was in order for the last lap. However, I had no more fuel from turn 11, which was a shame. I did my best to preserve the fuel until the last corner but then the bike stopped and I had to push it on the home straight and that was long. Some riders overtook me and it’s a big pity but I made sure that I got to the end because it’s the racing mind. I finished 15th, which equals one championship point but it is better than nothing."

Hervé Poncharal
Team manager

“I must admit that it’s a very difficult race result to think about. We did an ok job with Johann Zarco throughout the weekend as he had a good qualifying, and started on the second row of the grid. He began the last lap in a solid 7th position, with a gap of 2.5 seconds over Redding and there was no way he could have caught us. It would have been a strong result but unfortunately, we only finished thanks to Johann’s dedication and effort to push the bike over the line and score one point. He ran out of fuel, which is something that is unacceptable for me, and tonight we have to sit down with the Yamaha engineers as well as our own in order to understand why this happened. It should never occur and I feel very sorry for Johann who did a great job. He didn’t deserve that so I would like to apologise to him. We had Rodney Sacks, the Monster Energy CEO, with us today and I wanted to give him something to cheer about and this is not what I was expecting. On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 pit box, Jonas had an ok start but I think that he was lacking confidence in the first part of the GP and it was easy to see that because the lap times were not there. In the last third, he looked better and his pace improved, plus he was inside the top ten which is nothing amazing but it is positive finish for his first real race in the rain on a MotoGP bike. I’m sure that we can bounce back with two strong results at the next round in Aragon but again I have to say that I feel very sorry for Johann.”

Johann Zarco will leap forward from the rear of the second row of the grid after an accomplished performance in the blustery but sunny qualifying 2 shootout today In San Marino. The rapid rookie built up his pace before storming to a lap that left him 0.249 back from the front row and tomorrow, he intends to undertake a rocket start and then duel with the leading MotoGP bikes.

Meanwhile, Jonas Folger impressively blazed to the top of the time sheets in Q1, yet his lap was unfortunately cancelled due to exceeding the track limits by a hair's breadth at turn 16. As a result, his previous best time leaves him in 16th on the grid but he confidently awaits the race where he aims to fight for the top independent honours.

Johann Zarco
Position: 6th - Time: 1'32.885 - Laps: 8

Johann Zarco - 2017“I am pretty happy about the work that the team and I have completed since yesterday. We were focused on being fast but comfortable, and it was complicated yet this morning I improved my lap time which was positive, even if I crashed. Then, this afternoon, I am pleased about how the qualifying went as I felt that it was possible to be quick and I used two tyres. On the first one, I did a good lap time, so I kept the energy and pushed on the last three laps. 6th on the grid is really important for the Grand Prix because, if it is dry, I can be ready to fight and try to run the high pace that Marquez and Viñales have. However, if it is wet, it will be very important to judge the conditions quickly to see if we can push or if we have to be careful. We don’t know exactly what will happen but the best scenario for me is if the GP starts and ends on the same bike, even if it’s wet or dry. Yet, if it is a flag to flag race, then I will try to see when the top guys pit and maybe change the bike at that moment. If the weather is changing then warm up will help us a lot to understand the track but we are ready for either condition.”

Jonas Folger
Position: 16th - Time: 1'33.987 - Laps: 8

Jonas Folger - 2017"It has been a difficult weekend, but I am still positive due to the fact that I rode a fast lap in qualifying. However, it was cancelled because I just went off the track and touched the red part of the curve on the last exit. Anyway, there is no profit to take but these are the rules. Yet, the good thing is that we made this time and we could have gone to Q2. The weather is expected to change tomorrow but for me, it doesn’t matter if it’s wet or not. We know now that I have a solid pace in the dry and if it rains, it will be important to gain confidence as soon as possible. I will start from 16th, so if it is damp then we have to take advantage of the conditions and maybe take a few more risks whilst also being as confident as possible. After the tricky times that we’ve had recently, hopefully we can have an important and positive race tomorrow and collect a lot of points."

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team riders got straight to work under the blazing sun in San Marino today as the 13th round of the World Championship began. Johann Zarco kicked off proceedings by finishing FP1 in 9th, before continuing his efforts in the afternoon to complete the day in 12th with a gap of only 0.683 separating him from the top. Whilst Jonas Folger got up to speed in the morning after completing the first free practice just 0.084 behind his teammate, before his afternoon performance left him 1.091 back from the leading bike.

Johann Zarco
Position: 12 th - Time: 1'33.914 - Laps: 40

Johann Zarco - 2017“The first day in Misano was positive and I am happy to experience this track on my Yamaha YZR-M1. It’s not easy because this circuit, as I expected, is quite small for the premier class bikes. Therefore, I tried to complete a lot of laps in order to find the best references for myself and then give some good information to my team so that we could set the bike up well. In the afternoon, it was a shame to finish 12th, but when we analyse the times, we can see that we did ok. Now, I need to stay calm and work with my crew and on myself too so that we can improve tomorrow. There, I aim to prepare for the race but also be ready for qualifying where I hope to end up on the front two rows.”

Jonas Folger
Position: 17 th - Time: 1'34.322 - Laps: 37

Jonas Folger - 2017"To be honest, I am not so happy with today. I don’t have a good feeling with the front of the bike at the moment, and I can’t turn or brake in the way that I want to. I had a few moments on the track, but we have to find a solution in order to get the confidence back so that we can get to where we want and need to be. This is the only issue, and now we will work for tomorrow where I am certain that we will improve and then have a strong qualifying."


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