MotoGP Tech 3 Rookies Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger are duking it out for the seat of a living legend – but they may inadvertently make Tech 3 into something even greater.
As rookies to series, teammates Jonas Folger and Johann Zarco have been hell-bent on showing their mettle out on the track between themselves and all other riders in a bid to prove that they are deserving of their spot in the premier class.
The duo has already made big splashes in the sport with their highly spirited charges to the pole – and while neither has managed to wrangle victory from the clutches of their adversaries, they have both come impressively close in a field that is chock-full of already-christened World Champions.
@jonasfolger94 9️⃣4️⃣ is ready for the #BritishGP! 🇬🇧 Read his comments below! 👇 Jonas Folger – Championship: 8th – Points: 77 "I really like the Silverstone track so after the unlucky weekend that we had in Austria, we are looking forward to the British Grand Prix where we will attack and try to clinch a good result. I am certain that we will come back in a strong way and we have to collect points because Brno and Spielberg didn’t go to plan. I’m sure that we can show our true level at Silverstone, which is a circuit that I really enjoy riding at. I have great memories there, including my first-ever victory in the 125cc class and some other solid results. I hope that we are going to try the new winglets too, which we are supposed to get at Silverstone so it will be interesting to work with the new aerodynamic parts. I’m sure our hard work will get us close to the top and I’m excited about the British GP challenge.” @monsterenergy #Yamaha #Tech3 #MotoGP #GoJonas
Folger was the first to comment on the nature of the battle between himself Zarco, saying that although Zarco holds two World Championships over him – he is resolute to dish out a challenge right back:
“I think this fight [for Rossi’s seat] is between us.
“He [Zarco] is a two-time world champion. But in the end, I know that I can do what he does. I don’t know how far he can go, but I’ve arrived where he was at the beginning of the season and now I’m confident.
“At the beginning of the season I thought: ‘That’s it. He is gone and will be a step above the whole season, it will be difficult to be with him’.
“But then slowly I earned that confidence, and at the end of the day the good races I’ve made gave me a big understanding.
“He is the first challenge for me, I need to do this [beat him]. He is a very good teammate and a very good person – I really like him, he is a great man.
“But he wants to beat me and I want to beat him. So, we are fighting for the same thing.”
Through their efforts, the Tech 3 boys may very well find themselves making some initially disruptive – but ultimately beneficial – waves in the sport.
Through their fierce fighting, the two may indeed find themselves positioning Tech 3 Yamaha as a serious contender on the grid.
With the backing of Monster Energy renewed due to the valiant efforts of Zarco and Folger, the riders may likely end up finding themselves no longer needing to look up to the Yamaha Factory team for promotion.
While it’s a given that Rossi’s days are numbered, Zarco and Folger – or whoever happens to be sitting in their place come the new year picks – are uniquely poised to be successors of Valentino’s Yamaha seat, things might not be so straight forward for the rookie lads.
Rossi’s eventual retirement is going to be a hugely dramatic moment for the sport, and the grizzled Italian rider may very well have a say in who takes over for him – even if it is in team membership only.
Yet with the way that Zarco and Folger have been racing, it stands to reason that the satellite team will become a more formidable force in the future.