Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger aim to kick-start the triple flyaway Grand Prix’s in a positive way by powering to two notable finishes in Japan this weekend. Johann Zarco intends to build on his 6th place standing in the championship by concluding Yamaha’s home Grand Prix inside the top five. Whilst Jonas Folger determinedly plans to return to form and seize the top independent honours in the 24 lap sprint on Sunday. FP1 commences at 09:55 local time, or 03:55 Central Europe, this Friday at the Twin Ring Motegi.
Championship: 6th – Points: 117
“The Motegi event is approaching and I feel good after spending two positive weeks at home, where I gathered the energy that I need for the Japanese GP. It is a circuit that I like and the corners are nice, plus there are some hard braking areas. I have fond memories of Motegi because I won my first race in the 125 cc class there and I also secured the 2015 Moto2 World Championship at that round. I believe that I can be fast at this track with the Yamaha, but the team and I must work well. I think we will start with a solid base because we have a lot of references from the factory team. Then, I aim to give the maximum that I can and I really hope to be able to stay with the leading group. I would like to fight inside the top five, and why not go for the podium? It would be amazing to achieve this in Japan.”
Championship: 10th – Points: 84
“The Japanese Grand Prix is an important event because it’s Yamaha’s home round, and it also is for many of the staff in our team. The overseas races are always special as we spend a lot of time travelling together throughout the three or four weeks. We all get closer, which means that we enjoy the weekends more. I am looking forward to Japan and of course, the goal is to try and get back the speed that I had until the midpoint of the season. I’m sure that we can solve the issues and build up the confidence so that we will be able to get into the positions that we want to be in. I am optimistic and excited for this weekend, and I am sure that we can reach the goal that we have set ourselves.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“The next round for us is the Japanese Grand Prix at the Motegi circuit. It’s always a special event and is set in the remote but very picturesque and lovely countryside. It’s a great pleasure to race there and the facilities are fantastic. Tech3 has been a Yamaha team for almost 20 years, so it means a lot to go to our manufacturers home GP. We have many friends inside the Yamaha group that have been with us in the past and that support our team and riders at every race. So we will be delighted, as always, to see so many friends from the factory as well as other places. The fans are really special and they often come with unique outfits to show their support! In addition, the people are very nice and polite whilst they wait to meet the riders in the paddock. The circuit is a track that both of our boys like a lot, but especially Johann. His first ever Grand Prix victory in the 125 class was at Motegi. We are excited and we have Sakura and many other Japanese partners who work with us, which makes this round even more special. In addition, this race is the first in the triple overseas events, and following this, we head to Australia and Malaysia so it’s vital to do well in Japan and get some energy for the following two. Three in a row, with quite a long trip in-between each one, means we all use a lot of energy. It’s a very tiring but exciting trip so let’s start in Japan and hopefully we can score two great results to please the Monster Yamaha Tech3 fans who are superb and who always give us amazing support.”