Following four solid Free Practice sessions, Monster Yamaha Tech3’s Johann Zarco went all in during Qualifying this afternoon, which was delayed due to heavy rain at the Sepang International Circuit. Thereby, the fast Frenchman struggled on his first exit, but went out with a different tyre combination for the second turn and did a stunning lap time of 2’12.709 minutes on wet tarmac to eventually find himself in second, clearly ahead of his Yamaha colleagues and his fellow independent riders’ championship contenders.
Meanwhile, Hafizh Syahrin found some great sensations in FP3 this morning. The local hero lowered his best time from Friday by 0.861 seconds and climbed up the order. After he did equally well in the fourth Free Practice, he struggled to find his confidence in the wet Qualifying. Therefore, the Malaysian rookie will have to start his home race from the eighth row of the grid tomorrow at 13.00 local time (6.00 CET).
Position: 2nd – Time: 2’12.709 – Laps: 7
“We started with soft-soft and could see that Aleix (Esparagaro) went well with these tyres. I tried to do it, but it didn’t work and I said to myself, it’s not normal that I’m that slow. So I stopped to change to the other bike and asked to put in the medium rear. We already planned to use the harder front tyre. From the first lap, I knew something is possible. On the last lap, my feeling was great, but I was sliding on the rear in turn three and in turn four. I got quite some signals and lost a few tenths, so I wasn’t sure if I could have done the lap time of Marc (Marquez). Anyway, it was great. I enjoy the second place and wish for a podium tomorrow.”
Position: 23rd – Time: 2’16.825 – Laps: 6
“I just feel really sorry for the team, because I couldn’t do my best. I felt a lot of spinning from the bike and I’m disappointed from myself. Anyway, I will try my best for the race tomorrow, which will be a totally different day. Now we start to understand which tyre we need to use. I just want to enjoy it and do my best. I hope I can give my best for all my supporters that are coming here. I just look forward to the race and will try to improve from the back of the grid. I didn’t have any experience in the full wet conditions and I learned that it takes time to understand it. I’ll fight on race day!”