Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team rider Johann Zarco produced a superb display today in Malaysia to blaze to 3rd and seal the second podium in his rookie season. The notable French star leapt forward from 2nd on the grid and quickly moved into the lead. He remained at the front of the field for eight laps as the rain continued to fall, before eventually meeting the chequered flag inside the top three and as the leading Yamaha rider. The result marks a highly positive close to the triple flyway races and Zarco seeks to repeat the feat at the season finale in Valencia in a fortnight.

Meanwhile, Michael van der Mark produced a fine performance as he battled against the turbulent weather at the Sepang International Circuit. The young Dutch rider began the Grand Prix from the 8th row, but he immediately stuck into a formidable rhythm as he pushed through the field. He crossed the finish line in 16th, and ahead of several seasoned MotoGP regulars to close a positive, yet challenging, debut weekend aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. Monster Yamaha Tech3 would like to thank Michael for his efforts.


Johann Zarco
Position: 3rd - Championship: 6th - Points: 154


Johann Zarco - 2017“It was a great race and I am happy to be on the podium again. I was a bit worried about riding in the wet because when it rained on Friday, I was not fast and overall, Marquez and Dovizioso were pretty quick. Today I used the soft tyre in order to be safe but also to get some feeling and the lap times during the race were not amazing, yet, they were fast enough to lead and I opened up a gap. It was good to start the GP in this way, and even though I felt that I couldn’t push anymore, I did enough to stay first. Then, when the two Ducati riders overtook me, I thought about fighting with them. Eventually, I lost too much in acceleration so I had to push a lot on the brakes. Yet, it was too risky and I lost the rear twice. I wasn’t sure about what to do, however, I expected the track to dry a bit, and then I wanted to attempt to catch them, but I was limited. On the last three laps, I ran alone in third, so I decided to stay focused and the result was already pretty good so I chose to be safe and enjoy it!”


Michael van der Mark
Position: 16th - Championship: Not Classified


Michael van der Mark - 2017"I am really happy with today’s result, even though it was typical Malaysia and just before the race commenced, it rained again! The team and I changed the bike considerably compared to Friday when it was wet and we went softer on the rear. I had quite a good start, and the first half of the GP went very positively as I followed the guys in front of me and I fought with a lot of riders. I’m pleased with my performance, even if I wasn’t completely happy with the bike, but it was only my second time on the YZR-M1 in the wet. In my eyes, to fight for the points and follow Maverick was really amazing. When it dried a little bit, I struggled slightly more than him, yet, I could run a similar pace. I think I lacked a bit of confidence with the turning of the bike, otherwise, I may have been able to stay with the big group in front of me. I hoped to catch them with Maverick, but I also wanted to finish the race, which I did. Overall, I enjoyed the weekend a lot and my first experience with the YZR-M1 was just amazing."


Hervé PONCHARAL
Team manager


“It’s a great way to end these three flyaway races and the weather, as well as the track conditions, were tricky but finally, we got the podium that we were dreaming of after the one we had in Le Mans. I was really sad and bitter to have just missed out on third in Australia and I thought maybe that was the last opportunity of the season for Johann to get on the rostrum again. However, he proved me wrong today. He was fast and confident about scoring a solid result in the dry, but when we saw the rain falling, we thought the chance had gone, because the feeling on Friday in the wet was not very good. He chose the soft rear tyre, started well, got his head down and ran a strong rhythm which allowed him to be in the lead for the first seven laps. This was an incredible feeling for him but even more so for us. We knew that it was always going to be difficult to stay in front of the Ducati bikes and when they passed us, it was almost like it was the plan. Then we saw Marquez closing and I was scared because we know how fast and how much of a warrior he is. Yet, when Johann saw the gap was shrinking between himself and Marc, he pushed more and finally, Marquez gave up. This is something we have to be proud about as Marc does not often give up. A podium is an incredible reward and three consecutive front rows starts, and a near podium in Australia all mean that the flyway races have gone very positively. We can see that Johann is growing and he is so much more of a MotoGP rider than when we began the year of course. On the other side of the garage, Michael van der Mark did a brilliant job. I want to thank him because it was not easy to jump on a MotoGP bike at round 17 when everyone is fast and they know their bikes so well. Like with Broc last week, he had to discover the carbon brakes, the Michelin tyres and the electronics. Yet, Michael did a top job. He was a bit unhappy with himself after the crash in qualifying, but today he showed great determination. He had a strong start and fought with Cal Crutchlow, who is a Grand Prix winner in the wet, Iannone and he closed in on the factory Yamaha’s. I must thank him for his super effort and I hope, and I think it may happen, that we will see him on the YZR-M1 in the future. Let’s hope this performance will give him a special boost that will translate into a podium in the final WorldSBK race in Qatar next week. I must say thanks to the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team, so let’s fly back home and enjoy some well-deserved rest.”

Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco achieved his main objective with the 4th place finish at Phillip Island enabling him to secure the 2017 MotoGP Rookie of the Year title. The double Moto2 World Champion has delivered some truly memorable performances in his debut year in the premier class, including a podium finish at Le Mans, pole positions at Assen and Japan as well as a further front row start in Australia. In addition, he has scored points in every race this season aside from the opening round in Qatar. The French star currently stands in 6th in the World Championship as he now aims to clinch the Top Independent rider title with two rounds remaining.


Johann Zarco
Championship: 6th - Points: 138


 

Johann Zarco - 2017“It is a good feeling to achieve this target. There were a lot of fast riders who came from Moto2 in 2017, including my teammate Jonas, Alex Rins and Sam Lowes. The main aim was to be Rookie of the Year and I am happy to have done this. It was not easy as Jonas was very strong and he got a really good 2nd place finish at Sachsenring where he was fighting with the top guys. However, I was a bit more consistent which helped me to get the points. Now, I need to keep the 6th position in the championship and it will be fantastic if I can do this, as it will be better than being Rookie of the Year.”


Hervé PONCHARAL
Team manager


 

“Today in Australia, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team rider Johann Zarco secured the Rookie of the Year title. This was his main objective, which we set him when he started the season with us. We knew that he would have strong opponents from Moto2, firstly his teammate Jonas Folger and also Sam Lowes as well as Alex Rins who he was fighting against for the 2016 intermediate class championship. He has already achieved our target with two races to go so I would like to congratulate him, thank Yamaha for their support and say thanks to all of Johann’s crew who have worked really hard. He has had some unbelievable races, and the highlights include; the podium finish in France, the pole position at Assen and in Japan, and qualifying on the front row of the grid here. I would like to say thanks to him for everything that he has done for us, our sponsors and for Yamaha. We are very proud of this and it was not easy although it may look simple if we look at the standings now, but this was not the case at the beginning. Now we need to celebrate and get ready for Malaysia.”

Johann Zarco narrowly missed out on a podium finish after battling at the front of the field for the entire Australian Grand Prix. The French star kicked off the race from 3rd and after slipping back, he relentlessly worked his way through the pack before lunging into the lead on the 9th lap. He consistently traded places at the front and eventually just missed out on the podium by 0.016. Nevertheless, his efforts saw him finish 4th and as the Top Independent rider, which sealed the Rookie of the Year title in the MotoGP class.

Meanwhile, Broc Parkes, who stood in for the recovering Jonas Folger, delivered a determined performance in his race debut aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1. The Australian fought persistently as he diced with the experienced MotoGP riders, before eventually completing the GP in 22nd. The Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team would like to thank Broc for his efforts and professionalism at the Australian Grand Prix.


Johann Zarco
Position: 4th - Championship: 6th - Points: 138


Johann Zarco - 2017“It was an amazing race today in Australia and I am so happy that I could fight for the victory but Marquez broke away at the end, yet I still managed to lead the Grand Prix. After the tricky start, where I had to close the throttle to avoid touching someone, I lost a lot of positions. However, I was strong and I then overtook many riders and it was an amazing feeling. I had some moments on the track that I thought I would never live in my life so it was very good to take this experience. I could also analyse my rivals and see how they were so fast. On the last lap, I was running in 3rd and trying to get 2nd, and I attempted to overtake Rossi at the final corner on the acceleration. I changed my line to pass him and instead of 2nd, I finished 4th. It's a big shame to miss out on the podium but I need to enjoy what I achieved today.”


Broc Parkes
Position: 22nd - Championship: Not classified


Broc Parkes - 2017"I just did not have the rear grip from the start. Maybe it was because I didn’t have a lot of track time this weekend so I struggled a little bit. In the race, I thought I could stay with the Ducati’s and Lowes but unfortunately, I dropped back from them. However, it was hard to come back and I rode on my own for a while. I wanted to do better but I’m happy to have completed my home Grand Prix and to have ridden here in front of everyone. Thank you to Hervé and the entire Monster Yamaha Tech3 team for giving me this opportunity."


Hervé PONCHARAL
Team manager


“Phillip Island always produces some unbelievable racing but I think that this one is going to remain as maybe one of the best in MotoGP history. We feared the rain, however, fortunately, it did not happen which allowed the crowd and the viewers to enjoy an incredible show. We were right in the mix at the front and the start was ok but Johann touched Miller so he had to let a lot of people pass to avoid crashing. After that, he showed incredible speed and overtook every other rider to take the lead. Once he was there, he tried to open a gap, yet, it was so difficult because Phillip Island is a slipstream track. We know this as we won the 250cc World Championship with Olivier Jacque against Shinya Nakano in 2000 and the slipstream was highly instrumental. We could see that Johann was losing out on the straight and especially if someone was right behind him. Up until the last lap, he was in a position to fight for 2nd as Marquez broke away in first. Yet, I think he wanted it a bit too much so he tried to pass Valentino on the inside. However, he lost some speed when entering the straight and Maverick, who was behind, took the slipstream past him and we lost the podium by almost nothing. We are in Parc Fermé as the Top Independent rider but we have shown that we can fight at the top. The team did a great job and the suspension, tyres and rider were all perfect, and even if our man was aggressive, it wasn't too much. Plus, we consolidated 6th position in the championship, which is important. Nevertheless, I am happy but there is a slightly bitter taste in my mouth because a podium was certainly possible. On the other side, I have to thank Broc Parkes a lot as it was not an easy weekend for him due to the fact that he had to learn the YZR-M1 as well as the Phillip Island circuit on the 2017 Michelin tyres. In addition, the track conditions for the entire weekend were difficult but he did well and made almost no mistakes. We knew the race was going to be tough and sure, he needs more track time to be closer to the guys, yet, he was impressive in all departments. I would like to thank him a lot for his professional approach. We never know what will happen in the future, but we met a top rider and a super nice man. So many thanks again to him for what he did for Monster Yamaha Tech3.”

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