For the eighth round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship Johann Zarco lined up in the third row of the grid and was fighting in the front group all over the demanding 26 laps race in order to eventually see the chequered flag in eighth position. Currently, the fast Frenchman sits in fourth position of the overall standings and is well in striking distance to P2, plus leading the independent riders championship with 81 points.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin had a tough time in his first ever MotoGP race at the challenging TT Circuit. The Malaysian fought hard with his fellow rookie Takaaki Nakagami in the latter stages and ultimately earned the newcomer laurels thanks to a penalty of his opponent. Yet, Syahrin aims to score points again in just a few days’ time at the German GP.
Position: 8th - Championship: 4th - Points: 79
"This Sunday was a happy day. I saw a few things in the Warm Up and said to the team it’s going to be difficult to fight and I want to make a few steps, just to be able to battle the guys, to be able to brake well and stay with them. I think, we did that step, so it has been a good feeling. The start was good, then Iannone overtook Rins and Rins had to go wide, anyway it has been complicate to gain positions in the beginning, but immediately I was feeling good, could pass Petrucci and came to Crutchlow and was able to stay with this fantastic group, that was riding well. I could stick with them, but it was not enough to really fight because we struggled during the weekend. Maybe it has been the step that was missing to be able to fight for the podium, but I need to be happy. Some good feelings are coming back and we are fourth in the championship, so in any case we need to keep being strong. Overall, it has been a great and funny race."
Position: 18th - Championship: 17th - Points: 17
"I’m really sorry to my team! In the beginning of the race I had a good pace behind Dani Pedrosa. I had a good start, but the entry to the first corner was too tight and I didn’t pick the best line into it. Many riders passed me from the outside, so I tried to keep the pace and felt good. But suddenly after lap 10 I felt that my front tyre was dropping, I couldn’t brake really hard anymore and was not able to keep the good pace, which was maybe down to my tyre choice. In the end I can only try to learn from this. We know that we could fight for the points and something better than this position. I try to work hard and want to improve with this experience."
“It has been a tough weekend for Monster Yamaha Tech3. The entire weekend we saw that everybody was so close to each other. I think both, Johann and Hafizh worked really well and very hard. The qualifying was a bit of a disappointment as five seconds to the end of it, we were first and we ended up eighth. Although the start was again not ideal, we could see Johann fighting back and being in the front group, which was eighth riders all together until the last laps. You could have the feeling that he was hanging on there, clearly, he was struggling to keep the pace of the others and very wisely he made it to the flag, got eighth position and eight points for the championship, which is still giving us enough to remain fourth in the riders championship and we’re quite proud of it. But obviously it’s been another tough weekend, where I have to thank Johann, because he never gave up and I want to congratulate him for this. Hopefully the next few tracks are going to be a bit easier for us. On Hafizh’ side, I was really happy yesterday with the Qualifying and with the way everything went, but today his first lap was bad and the pace was not enough. It’s a big drop compared to what he has been showing us in Catalunya. We hoped we could make up a few points on Franco, but we just ended up 18thand honestly, it’s been disappointing. We knew from the start, that Hafizh didn’t like Assen, but to be a top MotoGP rider, you need to be fast everywhere and it didn’t happen this weekend. We could see in Barcelona, that he can be part of the best and of course, he is a rookie and still has a lot to learn. So, thanks for his dedication and let’s hope Sachsenring will be a bit easier to allow the whole team, including the riders to go on vacation with a positive feeling.”