Johann Zarco Finishes as Top Yamaha on First Day of Home GP

Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo battled against the challenging weather in Le Mans

johann zarco french gp free practice action
Johann Zarco, Grand Prix of France Free Practice 2017Courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech3

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 duo kicked off the team's home Grand Prix with two determined performances on day one as they battled against the challenging weather in Le Mans. Johann Zarco pleased his fans as he notably completed the day in 3rd overall after an accomplished start in the morning practice whilst the track dried. Meanwhile, Jonas Folger ended up 12th in the combined standings due to his solid FP1 time, and he now confidently looks on to tomorrow where he aims to improve further.

Johann ZARCO
Position: 3rd - Time: 1'39.248 - Laps: 41

"For me, it was a good opening day to my home Grand Prix. FP1 was positive because we started in wet conditions but then it dried and I finished on slick tyres and on my dry bike. This meant that I could ride a solid lap, which may help for qualifying tomorrow and this is very important. In the afternoon, it was totally wet but we completed a lot of laps and learnt how the new asphalt is in these conditions. In order to be confident in the wet I need time, so step by step, I got better, yet the first guy was incredible today. However, I now have some points to work towards and I will stay cool so that I can improve in the future in similar conditions. It was great to ride in front of my fans, and this gives me good motivation because I like the feeling of saying hello to everyone and seeing the fans all standing up around the circuit. Furthermore, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to get around the paddock on the scooter due to all of the fans, but this is definitely a good thing! I have to also say that it is really nice to already know that I will continue with Monster Yamaha Tech3 next year because we are improving at every race which is important, and if I keep progressing, then we can have a nice target."

jonas folger french gp free practice action
Jonas Folger, Grand Prix of France Free Practice 2017Courtesy of Monster Yamaha Tech3

Position: 12th - Time: 1'41.644 - Laps: 30

"It was a day of two halves but I am certain that we can achieve what we need to in order to have a successful time on Sunday. FP1 went well even though the circuit was drying at the end and we didn’t alter the bike too much at all. In addition, the new track surface is great and I really like it. However, in the afternoon, we had some issues in the rain and we struggled with the rear grip. I was trying to push but we have to search for another setting because I am loosing too much time on the entry to the turn, and mid corner also. Throughout the practice, I did my best, but in the end, we couldn’t find a solution. Yet, everything else is ok with the bike so now we need to analyse the data and make some plans, but I am sure that we can improve tomorrow."

For more information:

Combined Free Practice Times

Pos. Rider Num. Nation Team Time/Gap
1 MILLER Jack 43 AUS Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 1'37.467
2 MARQUEZ Marc 93 SPA Repsol Honda Team 1.288
3 ZARCO Johann 5 FRA Monster Yamaha Tech3 1.781
4 CRUTCHLOW Cal 35 GBR LCR Honda 2.140
5 BAZ Loris 76 FRA Reale Avintia Racing 2.960
6 ABRAHAM Karel 17 CZE Pull&Bear Aspar Team 3.061
7 SMITH Bradley 38 GBR Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 3.350
8 ROSSI Valentino 46 ITA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 3.427
9 BAUTISTA Alvaro 19 SPA Pull&Bear Aspar Team 3.557
10 VINALES Maverick 25 SPA Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 3.840
11 IANNONE Andrea 29 ITA Team Suzuki Ecstar 4.095
12 FOLGER Jonas 94 GER Monster Yamaha Tech3 4.177
13 DOVIZIOSO Andrea 4 ITA Ducati Team 4.206
14 PEDROSA Dani 26 SPA Repsol Honda Team 4.387
15 PETRUCCI Danilo 9 ITA Octo Pramac Racing 4.420
16 REDDING Scott 45 GBR Octo Pramac Racing 4.458
17 LORENZO Jorge 99 SPA Ducati Team 4.480
18 RABAT Tito 53 SPA Team EG 0,0 Marc VDS 4.627
19 LOWES Sam 22 GBR Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 4.776
20 GUINTOLI Sylvain 50 FRA Team Suzuki Ecstar 5.424
21 BARBERA Hector 8 SPA Reale Avintia Racing 5.486
22 ESPARGARO Aleix 41 SPA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini 5.647
23 ESPARGARO Pol 44 SPA Red Bull KTM Factory Racing 6.052