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By Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Zarco: "I’m very happy with what we achieved"

Strong results at the Austrian GP secures top Independent honours - and kicks the Frenchman's campaign back into gear

Round 11 of 2017 saw Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco back to his best, continuing his charge as top premier-class rookie with a top five finish at the NeroGiardini Motorrad Grand Prix von Österreich.

In his best finish since the Catalunya GP, the Frenchman was back to being the top Independent Team rider and held off several rostrum contenders at the weekend when a seven-rider train broke away in the lead. Starting from 6th of the grid, Zarco managed to keep a cool head as the temperatures at the Austrian circuit rose – holding firm in his position despite a late charge from Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP), and not far behind P4 finisher Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team).

Zarco also took the track lap record while in pursuit of the leading riders, and now has an impressive 99 points overall in his first season - breaking clear of teammate Jonas Folger in the battle to be Rookie of the Year after the German was forced to retire.

Johann Zarco, P5: "It was a good Sunday and I’m very happy with what we achieved. This morning, the warm up was difficult for me and I was a bit worried about how things would be in the race. Yet, this afternoon, the temperature was high and it was the warmest that it has been throughout the weekend and so the soft compound was the best tyre option. However, it had a great feeling but we were still a bit unsure about what would happen in the GP. Anyway, I am pleased about the start and I was able to fight in the first lap. Then I felt really strong after the fifth lap but it was too tricky to overtake. When I claimed 5th position, the tyres dropped a bit so I tried to manage it. I wanted to catch Lorenzo in 4th however, it was not possible today, and at the same time, I wanted to keep hold of 5th because Viñales was behind me and he was pushing. In the end, it was a perfect finish and I am so happy to be back in the top five. This result is great for the championship as well as my confidence and battling with the leading guys is very exciting."

MotoGP™ riders on the #AustrianGP Race