Monster Yamaha Tech3 rider Johann Zarco initiated Friday in Motegi with a stunning third fastest time, after getting up to speed quickly this morning. In mixed conditions during FP2 the fast Frenchman was leading away most of the session and eventually changed to slicks towards the end. However, he concluded the day superbly as the best Yamaha rider, just 0.125 seconds off the top.
On the other side, Hafizh Syahrin had to learn the Twin Ring Motegi aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time today. In doing so, he rode in changing conditions in the course of the first day and improved his feeling this afternoon to finish the second Free Practice as the sixth fastest rider of the highly competitive MotoGP field, eager to get back on track tomorrow at 9.55 local time (2.55 CET) for FP3.
Position: 3rd – Time: 1’45.483 – Laps: 35
“It has been a very good first day in Japan, I’m happy. In the dry conditions, I got a strong pace immediately and this helped me a lot to relax myself and do some good work. In the afternoon, the conditions were tricky with some rain, therefore I was lucky to have been fast in FP1. It was not full wet, but we had some patches on the track. I did laps in both conditions with the rain tyres and the slick and in both cases I had a good control of the bike. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow, to show a fast pace again and be competitive for the Qualifying.”
Position: 24th – Time: 1’47.726 – Laps: 23
“During this first day, I didn’t do many laps in the dry, but I felt really good with the bike. In the last run this morning, we had some small issue with the brakes, therefore we couldn’t continue improving and I stopped the last run. Later in FP2, I had very good sensations, but it wasn’t enough time to use the dry time really well. Overall, I have a great feeling and I’m convinced that we can lower our lap time tomorrow morning.”