Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco displayed a resolute race performance today for the eighth round of the MotoGP Championship season at the Sachsenring. Following a tough Qualifying the Frenchman had to start from 14th on the grid, but already made up two positions in the opening lap. With a hard fight Zarco eventually ended up in ninth to collect seven important points and goes into the summer break as the leading rider of the independent riders championship.
On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage, Hafizh Syahrin showed a fantastic effort. Starting from the back of the fifth row, the Malaysian premier class newcomer caught one rider after another, bet all his fellow rookies to finish in eleventh and reclaim the provisional top spot of the Rookie of the Year standing. Now the entire paddock commences a short summer break before the second half of the 2018 season kicks off in 19 days’ time at the Brno circuit in Czech Republic.
Position: 9th - Championship: 5th - Points: 88
"I’m happy about the race. Ninth position is good for the difficult weekend I had. Although I’m happy about the result, I’m a bit disappointed that I couldn’t see the podium as my pace is just not good enough to be there. Together with my crew we work hard, but we didn’t find the right solution this weekend to be stronger. That’s the hardest task, that I hope we can solve after the summer break in order to have a better feeling and be fast again. Maybe we can find the way to set the bike up better. I cross my fingers for the second half of the season to find the pace for the podium again. Fifth in the championship, same like fourth, but it would be really fantastic to fight for the top 3 in the overall standings and I trust in it."
Position: 11th - Championship: 16th - Points: 22
"First of all, I want to say thank you very much to my crew, because they made a really good job on my setting. We came back in FP4 after we went a bit in the wrong direction in FP3. I felt like in the beginning of the season and honestly, I think this track is really tricky, but I scored very strong points. I could stay with the group of Johann, but then suddenly the rear tyre had a big drop. I tried to understand and manage as good as possible, this is part of my learning experience. Eleventh was the best I could get at the moment. I tried to come back stronger after some difficult rounds and now we are best rookie again before the summer break. I try to keep my physical condition consistent, try to train hard in the break and don’t lose the focus, because I want the Rookie of the Year title."
“We were not expecting to have an easy life in Germany, but honestly speaking, Friday and Saturday were very difficult, including the Qualifying. Warm Up was also quite tricky, so we started the race with not too high hopes. But again, I would like to say that both, Johann and Hafizh showed that they are racers when it comes down to race day and they showed that they try to overcome all the issues they are facing in practice and I think we finished the race in almost the best position we could have hoped for. Johann had a great fight with Dani Pedrosa and just gave up in the very last laps. Still he managed to end up in ninth position which makes equal on points with Andrea Dovizioso in fourth overall – a great achievement. We still have ten races to go, so everything is possible. On the other side, Hafizh showed a big fighting spirit and was clever. He was in ninth position in Barcelona a few laps to the end before he did a beginner mistake, so today he showed us that he has learned from that. He has been fighting with great names and the last guy he has been fighting with and whom he eventually beat on the line was Andrea Iannone, which is a full factory rider and a GP winner, so this is something that makes us proud. He is also taking back the lead in the rookies classification, which is our and his main target this year. We are happy with our two guys. Like everybody in the paddock they need a few days off. Johann will have certainly a few days of rest in the South of France, while Hafizh is flying back to Kuala Lumpur to meet the family. Have a good holiday to both of you, recover, recharge your batteries and of course this also applies to the whole crew. Thank you for your hard work and keep some straight because we have another ten to go. Bonne vacances!”