The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo performed bravely today in Spielberg for the eleventh round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship to conquer a ninth and a 16th position. Knowing that the Austrian circuit would be a tough challenge for him and his Yamaha YZR-M1Johann Zarco did his best to convert his second row start into a decent race result, giving his all to eventually reaching ninth in a hot and intense 28 laps clash.

Following the first lap, Hafizh Syahrin was battling hard to come back from 21st. The Malaysian rookie made up one position after another and was able to keep his strong pace from the first to the last lap, where he had a tough run to the finish line, eventually ending up in 16th place, where he missed out on the points scoring positions by just 0.271 seconds. Before the entire championship settles over to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix in 12 days’ time, Syahrin defends his lead in the incredibly close Rookie of the Year classification. 

Johann Zarco
Position: 9
th - Championship: 7th - Points: 104

Zarco 2018"It has been a difficult race today. I expected to have a better pace, to be honest. I chose the soft tyre because it was the one I had the best feeling with, but it wasn’t easy. In the first corner I lost too many positions and then I was not able to catch back up, so I was struggling. I tried to do the best, but I was too slow. Even when Valentino overtook me, I thought I could find a better pace, but it was not possible. So I had to finish the race and in the end it was kind of funny. It was maybe my best moment in the race when Bautista passed me and we were catching up on Tito. On the last lap we had a great fight, overtook each other a few times. In the last corner I took advantage and finally was able to finish ninth. It’s not a great result, but not the end of the world, even on a track I like."

Hafizh Syahrin 
Position: 16th - Championship: 16th - Points: 24

Syahrin - 2018"The race was really good regarding my rhythm, but I was a bit disappointed about myself because I didn’t do a good Qualifying. This track is not easy for the Yamaha machine and we missed some sessions because of the weather, so we didn’t do many kilometers on this track. As I’m here for the first time with the GP bike, I realized that the circuit looks easy on the paper, but in some corners we need some traction to have a good drive. In the race the bike was really good for me, I could do the pace like the top 10 in every lap, it’s just a shame that I was so far back. On the first lap I needed to start to pass many riders that were slower than me. The last lap was truly good, I thought I could pass Nakagami, but in the end it didn’t work out. Next race, I try to improve my Qualifying, which is very important now as we know that we can be really strong in the race. I need to work very hard and I’m looking forward to the next GP."


Team Manager

We knew this weekend wouldn’t be easy and in the end, it wasn’t. Johann did the best he can and I would like to thank him one more time for his never-give-up-attitude. The Qualifying was the highlight of the weekend for sixth position, first Yamaha, second row and it was quite a long time we weren’t on the second row. So, we were quite positive and hopeful of an ok result. He started average and was in a group where there were a lot of touches and they were messing with each other, so they lost contact with the leading group. Once he got his head down and found his rhythm he has been fighting all race long. In the end I think, he is not where he wants to be and not where we want him to be. We do the best we can with our package and we know it will not change and be the same until Valencia. We just try to continue the way we are doing, trying to keep positive and not have a negative attitude. I think in this tough moment is where you learn a lot. It’s not easy and it’s always so much easier to fight for top positions, but I think this will help him for his future career and clearly next year. That’s the main lesson – continue to get the best out of our package, keeping a positive attitude, believing in each other; him in the team and the team in him and maybe some circuits will be easier for us. We knew that Honda and Ducati were almost impossible to beat here, so we just need to carry on pushing. Hafizh did a really good race, not like in Czech Republic and not on the media and TV radar one more time. He had a slow start, but recovered really well, got some guys like Miller behind him, finished ahead of Franco Morbidelli and right behind Takaaki Nakagami. I think with one more lap he would have maybe been able to get one more position because he was a lot quicker than the two of them. 16th is not the best result, but he learned a lot today and I think this is what we are expecting from him. I’m proud of Hafizh and on what he did today because the whole race was truly competitive, fast from the start to the end and he did a good job. These two races back to back were a bit tough, now we have a few days off and then it’s time to go to Silverstone.

Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco produced a superbly calculated ride to qualify in sixth position for tomorrow’s Austrian GP. After collecting useful data in partly wet and partly dry conditions this morning, he went 0.880 seconds faster than yesterday during an impressive Qualifying 2 to secure ensure the best Yamaha spot of the highly competitive premier class.

In mixed conditions Hafizh Syahrin showed his huge talent in FP3 this morning by blasting to ninth position. Following an important fourth Free Practice, the sun was out again above the Austrian venue and the Malaysian rookie performed well in Qualifying to improve on his fastest lap time from Friday morning by 0.760 seconds. Therefore, Syahrin is set to start the 11th race of his MotoGP career tomorrow at 14.00 local time from the sixth row of the grid.

Johann Zarco 
Position: 6th -  Time: 1'23.887 - Laps: 9

Zarco 2018"This morning we had half and half conditions again, so it was not possible to improve the lap time. FP4 has already been in the dry and I was happy to ride well. My lap time was coming quite good, although I struggled a bit with the acceleration. Overall, the bike gave me a good feeling and the Qualifying was pretty interesting. I believed I can do a fantastic lap time, but I did all and I’m in sixth position. It’s complicate to fight against these fast bikes, but I try to manage. I must be happy about this and use this opportunity to start well, do the best as possible at the beginning of the race to be close to the podium and after half the race we will see how good the others are."

Hafizh Syahrin 
Position: 18st -  Time: 1'24.834 - Laps: 9

Syahrin - 2018"We are a little bit behind in 18thposition, but it has not been easy for me to find a good feeling at this track in the course of this weekend, especially with the changing conditions. I have a lot of spinning on the rear and I tried to find the required grip and a decent rhythm. To be honest, it was quite tough, but gradually we understand where we have to work on. I hope that we can make another step forward in the Warm Up tomorrow morning."

Fresh off a very positive test, Johann Zarco initiated the Austrian Grand Prix today with huge enthusiasm and a fastest time of 1’24.767, which placed him well inside the provisional Q2 positions in P9. When the rain arrived in this afternoons’ second Free Practice the fast Frenchman was one of the first out on track trying the conditions and eventually finishing the day as the fastest Yamaha rider.

On the other side of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 garage Hafizh Syahrin got his first taste of a full wet session on board his Yamaha YZR-M1 in FP2, following the dry morning, where he was missing out on his team mate by just 0.827 seconds. From 9.55 local time on Saturday, the Malaysian rookie gets the chance to adapt further to the beautiful track surrounded by the Austrian mountains.

Johann Zarco 
Position: 9th -  Time: 1'24.767 - Laps: 36

Zarco 2018"I’m disappointed about the first day. On the track this morning I enjoyed the circuit, but my feeling on the bike was not good. We lost quite a lot time, nine tenths behind the fastest is too much on a small track like this. I still believe in the work we are going to do this evening in order to really improve in the dry. Later with the rain, I was very careful because we don’t know this venue in the wet. Therefore, I did many laps to gain confidence and then we made a good improvement on the bike, but when I went out the rain was heavier, so I couldn’t improve my lap time. But I feel that in the rain we quite good."

Hafizh Syahrin 
Position: 21st -  Time: 1'25.594 - Laps: 35

Syahrin - 2018"We had some changing weather today. This morning it was dry and I wanted to learn from FP1 to improve in the second session, but finally we found wet conditions, which was the first time for me in the full wet. I tried to understand lap by lap and we improved slightly. I just need some more time to get used to this. We didn’t change the setup on the bike and for sure we need to do a slight adaption on the front in order to feel better when it rains. Tomorrow I hope we have good weather and obviously, we want to try to improve our position."


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