With some luck and a very solid race, Johann Zarco claimed his second podium in 2018. Thereby, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 star, who concluded the fourth race of the season as the best Yamaha rider of the field, also took over the second spot in the World Championship standings, less than two weeks before the eagerly awaited home round of the Tech3 Team and the French rider.
At the same time, Hafizh Syahrin delivered an exceptional performance in gritting his teeth to the end of the demanding 27 laps race at the Jerez Circuit, missing out on the points scoring positions by just a whisker. The MotoGP rookie was suffering a lot after a bicycle crash on Monday, but managed to see the chequered flag, while gaining even more experience in the premier class.
Position: 2nd – Championship: 2nd – Points: 58
“Sometimes I need some luck and today was good. Starting from third position was a great opportunity. I could be a bit faster than Pedrosa in the beginning, but he was a bit better in acceleration and then I never had enough margin to overtake him on the brake. I was not able to do it. It was difficult, but then I was in fifth position and hoped to catch this front group again, even if Marquez was going away, there was still the fight for the podium. I was always trusting, that it’s possible to catch them and I was doing my race. When I saw them crashing all three together, I couldn’t believe it. I told myself, keep calm, we have a big advantage, it’s just seven laps to go and it’s important to bring it home, being focus and enjoy. 20 points in the Championship are just awesome.”
Position: 16th – Championship: 16th – Points: 9th
“I’ve done the fourth race in Jerez, but I was struggling with my body, because I suffered from Friday and today I felt honestly worse than yesterday. Therefore, I was really fighting in the middle of the race, I didn’t have any energy left to ride the bike properly because of my pain. Maybe I used too much of my energy in the beginning. Anyway, I’m happy with the team, because they did a really great job! I’m sorry for them, but our target was to try to finish the race and to learn as much as possible, which is exactly what we’ve done. Plus, we were very close to the points. I’ll recover now and try to do a good race for our team’s home Grand Prix in Le Mans.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“That was an unbelievable race and this is what is MotoGP is all about. Until the chequered flag is down, you never know what’s going to happen. Johann did a great race, was holding on fifth and there was nothing he could do more. We saw, that the guys in front were above the rest of the field. We were chasing and increasing the gap to the ones following. Fifth was quite good, but it happened what happened. For me it was a racing incident, bad luck for Dovizioso, Lorenzo and Pedrosa, but it’s part of the game. Thanks to that and with Johann’s consistency, never giving up, we managed to get the second spot for the second time this year, plus second in the provisional ranking, which makes us very, very happy and also shows, it doesn’t matter which bike you have, which material, the rpm, the engine – it’s a question of man, machine and the team. I’m very proud that Monster Yamaha Tech3 is able to show that and to give the hope to everyone on the grid, that you can do it. Great job from our crew, great job from Johann as usual, thanks Yamaha and also Michelin for the good technical package. Hafizh was another story, he had a very tough weekend. Honestly, I told him on Friday night, that I don’t think it is wise to race and it’s better to recover and be ready for the next round in France, but he told me he wants to race and to continue. He missed the points by one position, which is also showing his huge determination. I want to thank him for this. He was in extreme pain, but still he had a decent race, so all I hope is, that he is not cycle downhill anymore and we have him back at full fitness for the French Grand Prix in Le Mans, where there will be many guys coming to support Johann and the whole Tech3 Team.”