Today’s 14th round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship season turns out a hard challenge for Monster Yamaha Tech3 ‘s Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin, who both grit their teeth during the 23 laps race in order to limit the affects as good as possible.
French star Zarco came off the line very well making up three positions on the first lap but was fighting very hard after the first third of the race to at least bring home two points. With five rounds to go, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider lies seven points behind his contenders in the fight for the best independent rider of the Championship. Meanwhile Syahrin showed an equally strong performance in the beginning of the race before struggling to keep his pace and eventually ending up in P18. The MotoGP newcomer aims to make up seven points now in order to equal Franco Morbidelli in the Rookies of the Year competition.
Position: 14th – Championship: 8th – Points: 112
“It was a very tough race. I had a good start and I was able to fight a bit with Petrucci at the beginning, but quite soon this first group in front of me went away. It was impossible to follow them and then the more laps I was doing, the worse the feeling got. We were slighting too much, we were fighting too much and we had no solution. I tried many things with my riding, but I didn’t find anything that helped. It’s very hard to finish a race like that because I’m exhausted and I was very slow. So, I hope we will have better weekends on different tracks, also circuits, where the other riders didn’t test. I hope this can be a chance for me to do some good results in order to finish the season well.”
Position: 18th – Championship: 18th – Points: 24
“We made a good start, I was P13 in the beginning, just behind Rossi. I was fully motivated to stay with him, Morbidelli, Nakagami and Johann. I don’t know why, but suddenly after eight laps I lost the rear contact on the ground, didn’t have any grip anymore, I couldn’t turn the bike and it was really hard to ride the bike like this. In the beginning of the race it was good, I believed we could score points in front of the other rookies, but in the end, I couldn’t keep the pace. I was struggling a lot to stop the bike and to turn. Now, I try to continue with this motivation like in the beginning of the race. I don’t know what to do, I just try to keep focused and try to take something away to improve myself and work hard with the team. I really hope Yamaha can find something to improve the bike.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“We arrived in Aragón full of optimism and confidence. We weren’t thinking to be on the podium but we thought we could be fighting for a top 10 result, which right now the level we have. Unfortunately, we leave Aragón with more than a bitter feeling, it’s a big shame. I think it’s the worst result of Johann when he finished a race, except maybe last year’s Misano round when he run out of fuel in the last lap. That shows how far we are. Basically, our two guys had a good start, had a good rhythm for the first few laps and then they dropped, more dramatically for Hafizh then for Johann, but they both went down the order. Honestly, it was hard to follow the race. We are competitors, we are fighters and to see such a race is something that makes you wonder and that makes you feel truly sad. I think right now Johann said he’s exhausted like he has been fighting for the victory and he ended up 14thand I think the whole team is feeling the same. It’s a really tough moment. I can’t remember and I can’t believe if we’ve been that we’ve been fighting from pole position for podiums in the same season and now we’re fighting for points. This is unbelievable. I don’t think the tyre situation had anything to do with it because the race winner was on a soft rear, Iannone was on medium-soft, like we were, so on that department I think we were ok. But there are things to understand. I was also very excited to see Johann passing Petrucci and fighting in a group, where I thought he would stay long. I was excited to see Hafizh having a great start and being together with Valentino and in front of his fellow rookies, but unfortunately that didn’t last long and we just lost ground. It’s more than a pity, something we have to understand, because I don’t think Johann and Hafizh deserve that result. I’m very sorry for our partners and for the people who follow us and are behind us. Clearly, we are in a crisis situation at the moment. I don’t think we have the tools to recover soon. We can just hope that the next circuits will be more favorable. Johann and Hafizh had a great test in Thailand this winter, but this winter is already a long time ago, so I don’t know. We have to regroup, we have to keep pushing, but now we have to pack for the four flyaways and the feeling is everything is going to be very heavy to pack. I’m unhappy, I’m sad, I’m angry, because we are not here to do that and I don’t think the level of the team is what we see. But clearly, race after race it’s almost the same comment, it’s almost the same result. We saw Johann in the past being very aggressive and doing some unbelievable passes in the race, but we’ve just lost that. We haven’t seen that for many, many races. He just seems to suffer, to struggle. We just seem to be outside of where we should be. It’s a big shame.”