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MotoGP: Poncharal relishing European return

Published: 02 May 2018

Updated: 02 May 2018

Monster Yamaha Tech 3 boss Herve Poncharal says he’s relishing a return to Europe after three flyaway races opened the 2018 MotoGP season – and with strong results to show from those races, he’s going to the fourth round of the series in a good place.

“We had a few days at the office on the way back from the USA, that helped everybody to recover and to get ready to organize the logistics for the European rounds, who are quite different to the overseas Grand Prix. That kept all of us busy, but now we already have half of the team on the road driving to beautiful Andalusia.

“Everybody at Monster Yamaha Tech3 can’t wait to be on the track to meet all of our friends we haven’t seen since Valencia 2017, because some of the staff do not follow the overseas. It will be the first GP where we can see everybody working in MotoGP and we can’t wait to meet them there.

“Jerez is always a very special place because of the location, which is truly amazing, because of the fans that are passionate and really hot and because of the racing, which is always incredibly close and exciting there. We at Monster Yamaha Tech3 arrive in Jerez with an interesting position being the joint independent team leader with Johann and Cal Crutchlow equal on points and leading the rookie classification with Hafizh.”

And, with a strong performance there last year from Johann Zarco and rookie Hafizh Syahrin improving every time he jumps on the Yamaha M1, the Frenchman says he’s hoping that they can continue their momentum.

“We have great memories of how Johann and the Yamaha YZR-M1 are working in Jerez from last year, where he had an incredible fight, leading the race for some laps, fighting with Marc Marquez and only giving up the podium to Jorge Lorenzo. Let’s hope we can repeat this kind of performance this year. Johann is eager to continue the incredible start of year he is having.

“On Hafizh’ side, I would say the same. He was really disappointed, that he was not able to score in Texas, but we could see that in Qualifying and before the crash he was very fast and he will want to be fast like this again and fighting with his fellow rookies. Spain is a special country for him, because this is his base in Europe. He has a lot of fans there and his nickname is El Pescao, therefore this round is one of his second home GPs.”

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