Following a tough Australian race day, the Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo of Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin can’t wait to arrive in Malaysia for the second last round of the 2018 MotoGP World Championship.
While the fast Frenchman is fully motivated to make up for the lost points and recover ground in the fight for the independent riders’ championship, Syahrin faces a very special weekend. The MotoGP rookie will head to his country for the very first time in the premier class and aims high in front of his home crowd. The much-anticipated hot event is set to commence with the first Free Practice session at 10.55 local time (3.55 CET) this Friday.
Championship: 7th – Points: 133
“The Sepang International Circuit is a track I like and one, I can be fast on. I hope my Yamaha will give me a good feeling again. It’s going to be like in Thailand with very hot temperatures and difficult conditions to race, but I feel fit for this round, even after the crash in Australia. Therefore, I look forward to have a good race and catch as many points as possible to be the first independent rider.”
Championship: 18th – Points: 34
“I’m looking forward to arrive in Sepang after the good sensations we got in Phillip Island. Although the result was not great in the end, two thirds of the race were fantastic and I learned from the top riders in front of me, plus I was able to stay close to them. Unfortunately, we lost the front in turn four and also in the straight we were missing some power from the engine. I just can’t wait for my home race, which gives me some extra motivation. We keep working hard and believing in ourselves. For sure, we’ll try to do our best there.”
Monster Yamaha Tech3 – Team Manager
“The next round only in a few days’ time is going to be Malaysia – a very important race for the Championship, great event, great circuit, where we do a lot of testing during the winter, where we have a lot of data and where MotoGP is big like it was big in Thailand. This year it will be even bigger, especially for us, because we have the home hero, the MotoGP star in Malaysia, which is Hafizh Syahrin. He will arrive there as a rock star. There are quite a few things organized around him by the media for the marketing of the Malaysian Grand Prix, so we will be very busy there, helping everyone. The first person will for sure be Razlan Razali, who is a friend and who we owe a massive thank you for helping us during the winter to have Hafizh on board. So, it’s going to be a pretty interesting event for us. In terms of results, this has always been a circuit where we have had interesting races. Last year Johann was on the front row in the dry Qualifying and ended up third behind the two Ducati’s in the full wet race, so we’ve got good memories about that. Hafizh should be fast, we hope, although he has never rode a MotoGP bike on that circuit, but it’s his home country, which is always a very special boost. Especially after the nightmare day we experienced in Australia on Sunday, we can’t wait to be on track for FP1 just to forget about this and to be focussed on Malaysia. I hope there will be many, many fans for Monster Yamaha Tech3 with Johann and of course the local boy Hafizh. See you all there!”