Monster Yamaha Tech3 star Johann Zarco missed out on the pole position for the Motul Grand Prix of Japan today by just 0.068 seconds in an incredible tight Q2. However, the Frenchman will start the 16th round of the MotoGP World Championship tomorrow from the second position on the grid, being confident of a consistent and strong race at 14.00 local time (7.00 CET) on Sunday, after he lowered his Friday’s best again by 0.346 seconds to defend his third spot in the Free Practice classification this morning.

Meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin gained momentum in FP3 and improved his fastest lap time from Friday by impressive 1.147 seconds. In Qualifying 1 the Malaysian rookie came extremely close to his first Q2 entry as he did an amazing lap time of 1’45.767 minutes to miss out on P2 by just 0.019 seconds. Full of confidence, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Syahrin aims to bring home as many points as possible in tomorrow’s 24 laps race, launching from the front of the sixth row.

Johann Zarco 
Position: 2nd -  Time: 1'44.590 - Laps: 7

Zarco 2018"This has for sure been a great lap! I think I missed the pole position just in the last chicane as I struggled to shift down from third to second gear and I guess that’s where I probably lost a few thousands of a second. Anyway, I’m so happy with this Qualifying! I was fast here from FP1 onwards and proved my good feeling once again. I could show clearly, how much I like this track and that I can push. Overall, it’s working well. Tomorrow we need a good start, maybe try to lead the race and it will be very important to ride the Yamaha well from the first lap on."

Hafizh Syahrin 
Position: 16th -  Time: 1'45.765 - Laps: 7

Syahrin - 2018"We did a good job in FP4 and also in Q1, it was just so close. We missed Q2 by just 0.1, but anyway, we are back in the rhythm and I feel really good together with the team. I was just a bit nervous during Qualifying. Anyway, we have a strong pace and believe that tomorrow will be a good day for us. We need to make a clever choice on the tyre. From P7 to P15 everything is really close, so I think if we can do a good start tomorrow and stay within that group, we can score points. Thanks a lot to my team, because the guys found a very good package for me. I just need to improve on my confidence, but we keep working hard and are highly motivated."


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