The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo confidently await the highly anticipated first race of their rookie campaigns with full motivation as they aim to kick-start their MotoGP careers with two solid results under the floodlights. After deeply impressing during the three pre-season tests, the promising young riders will seek to get up to speed at the iconic Losail International Circuit and then battle for the top rookie honours aboard their Yamaha YZR-M1 bikes. The event will begin with Free Practice One at 19:55 (local time) on Thursday the 23rd of March with the eagerly awaited race taking place at 21:00 on Sunday.
"My first MotoGP race will come very soon and I’m excited for Qatar after the positive test that we did there with the team not long ago. At that time, we gathered a lot of important information and made some solid references, which I will use to do my best this weekend. For sure, there are more things to learn, but the work that we have done up until now has been productive and I hope to do a good job by the time the chequered flag drops on Sunday. When we get going on Thursday evening I hope that we will have clear conditions under the floodlights so that we can ride uninterrupted and we can push. Lets see what happens but I will be focused and I will try to be the best that I can be plus, I think that achieving a good result is within my grasp."
"After such a long wait, it’s time for action and we can finally start the all important 2017 campaign. We had a really positive winter testing period and at every event the team and I undertook a lot of important work and made great progress. With regards to the last test in Qatar, I thoroughly enjoyed it because my pace was good and we tried all of things that we set out to. In addition, we confirmed some of the key settings on the bike, so therefore, I am confident about the forthcoming weekend and we have a clear direction as well as a solid base for the opening round. The Tech3 team and I are all very excited and motivated for my rookie season and we can’t wait to get going at the Losail International Circuit."
Hervé PONCHARAL - Team manager
"Finally the winter test season is over and we can look back and say that it was intense but very positive for the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Clearly, Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger exceeded expectations as not only did they have to learn the bike as rookies, but they spent a lot of time inside the top ten, sometimes even higher than this, and both of them were always within a second from the fastest lap. Everyone in our team is really happy about how the tests went and how competitive the guys were. Yamaha did a great job with supplying top-level machinery for us and if you are rookie who is entering the MotoGP class, riding the YZR- M1 gives you a big advantage. With regards to the event, we need to be careful because the racing conditions are tricky in Qatar, it is often cold and there can be some humidity on the ground. Therefore, it could be challenging but we are positive and it’s important to try and leave the track with a decent result, as it will significantly boost the confidence for the rest of the season. For the first time, the guys will go face to face with the other riders on Sunday and they have to learn how to fight them. So there is a bit of pressure, especially after the good results at the tests, yet everyone at Tech3 is motivated. We must stay modest and work hard to prove to our partners that they were right to trust and invest in us. Together, Johann and Jonas are part of the exciting 2017 grid and let’s hope that they put big smiles on our faces when the chequered flag comes down in Qatar.."