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.”


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