Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco leaves Malaysia with some great feedback after three productive first days of testing in 2018. Last year’s MotoGP Rookie of the Year continued his hard work on Tuesday, concluding the test with further significant improvements, shaving off additional two tenths from his best lap time from the previous day.

Yonny Hernandez displayed his great potential while riding the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time during this official MotoGP test. The Columbian rider, who was called to replace Jonas Folger in Sepang, increased his feeling on the Monster Yamaha Tech3 machine repeatedly on the final day of testing and was able to improve on his day one pace by nearly one second.

The next MotoGP outing is set to take place at the newly introduced Buriram Circuit, Thailand, where the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team aims to contest with a second permanent rider alongside French star Johann Zarco.

Johann Zarco
Position: 9th - Time: 1'59.511 - Laps: 55


Zarco MAL Test Day2 2"I’m really happy, because in three days of testing we didn’t report any crash, which is important to be back with the best confidence possible. Today, I did some good laps. The conditions in the morning were ideal and we tried to use this opportunity to lower the lap time. 59.5 is not bad, although I wanted to be a little bit faster. Yet, I know that I also have to further improve myself. Later on, I did 13 laps in a row and physically I was feeling a lot better than one year ago, plus the pace was some tenths faster on every lap. I should be even quicker, but at least I was truly consistent and saved my energy well. The new aerodynamics package from Yamaha was great, it gives us more stability and therefore, it is less physically demanding. I will work with it during the year, depending on the track, but with it I think we can have a good front contact and stability almost everywhere."

Yonny Hernandez
25th - Time: 2’01.223 - Laps: 38


Hernandez MAL Test Day2"Overall, it was a very positive test and a fantastic experience for me. In the course of the last day I was able to improve again, but I think I’m capable to go even faster. After midday, I didn’t ride too much, nevertheless, I lowered my lap time and I learned a lot. The two exits today were quite hard, especially as the track conditions were incredibly hot. We tried two bikes and I realized that my feeling with the Yamaha in general was increasing. It goes without saying, that P25 is not the position I want to be in, but I can happily say, that I’m delighted I was able to step forward during these three days of testing."

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco continued to impress on Monday at the Sepang International Circuit, the second day of pre-season testing in 2018. The French rider improved by more than 0.7 seconds in order to hit his target, well arriving inside the 59’s.

However, Yonny Hernandez did well to further adapt his riding style to the Yamaha YZR-M1 and gradually finds his way back to the highly-competitive MotoGP field. The 29-year-old lowered his lap time from day one by about half a second.

Johann Zarco
Position: 6th - Time: 1'59.702 - Laps: 48


Zarco MAL Test Day2 2"What we saw from the first day, the bike is able to be very consistent, but yesterday I felt it was not fast enough. On my last lap today though, I have been very quick and was able to clock a really good time. Obviously, the other riders increased their pace in the last 30 minutes. Anyway, we can be happy, as we reached our goal to be under the 2 minutes bracket. There are many positives to take away from today, although it has not been easy to find solutions in some areas we wanted to improve. It’s the first winter test of this year, therefore it’s truly important to work on the bike rather than just try to set a fast lap time. For now, I have to rest a bit and sleep well and tomorrow we want to try some different things to be able to give even more feedback."

Yonny Hernandez
6th - Time: 2’01.554 - Laps: 49


Hernandez MAL Test Day2"On day two we found a small improvement and I’m happy about that. Compared to yesterday, we also lowered our lap time by half a second, which is another positive point. Clearly, this is not the position we want to be in, but today we understood more and more aspects about the bike. I just focused on riding the Yamaha, plus I also did some good work with used tyres, which is very important. I learned to ride the bike on it, used the traction control a lot and trying to figure out how the medium and the soft tyres perform. I’m pleased that we are improving day by day, exit by exit, just doing as many kilometers as possible. The goal for tomorrow is the same like today; learning a lot and trying to reduce the gap to the top."

Johann Zarco was back in the saddle today for the first official MotoGP test of the year in mixed conditions at the Sepang International Circuit. The French star used the full eight hours of testing to get used to the power and the speed of his Yamaha YZR-M1 again, finishing the day in 8th position.

Meanwhile Yonny Hernandez experienced a first taste of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 machine. Following a long absence from the premier class the Columbian rider got into a steady rhythm in the course of the day.

Johann Zarco
Position: 8th - Time: 2'00.421 - Laps: 62


Zarco - 2018“It was a good opening day. We started the day in wet conditions and my feeling was positive in these conditions. I began the day slowly and got re-used to the speed step by step. Compared to the race here in the wet, my feeling was positive and I felt competitive, plus I had a really good control of the bike. Later on, we had nearly ideal conditions, there were not many patches on the track. From last year, I feel a great potential with the used tyre. We don’t have a big drop, which is fantastic news to prepare the entire season. Now we need a better performance with the new tyre to get into the 59’s. Therefore, we just need to understand a few more things, but take it easy.”

Yonny Hernandez
Position: 23rd - Time: 2’02.053 - Laps: 47


Hernandez - 2018"This morning we had some difficult weather conditions, but later in the afternoon it was completely dry. I just wanted to try to understand the bike, the team, how the tyres work. In the end, we improved with every outing and overall, I’m quite satisfied with our work today. For sure, it’s not the position I wish to be in, but for the opening day, it’s ok, as I haven’t sat on a MotoGP bike for two years. I just tried to build my rhythm, do some laps, to understand the bike to get to know everything. In the beginning, I used the soft tyre and we improved a little bit. For tomorrow I hope we can progress even more and I can lap faster."


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