MotoGP 2017 preview: Monster Tech 3 Yamaha

Next up in the previews is Yamaha’s baby brother. Historically Tech3 have had good riders on bikes that haven’t quite matched their skills. After a winter of change, there are two new faces on said bikes, and it will be interesting to see how both go, as they are both new to the big boy class.

The bike

yamaha-moster-tech3-2017-2

Picture from motogp.teamtech3.fr

Name Yamaha YZR-M1
Engine 1000cc inline four cylinder
Power 176KW/>240bhp
Chassis Aluminium twin tube with aluminium swing arm
Transmission Six-speed cassette-type
Brakes Brembo, 320mm or 340mm front, 2×4-piston callipers. Single disc rear with twin-piston calliper

It is, to all intents and purposes, a Yamaha M1. It’s what Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi have to play with, but it does not have Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi on board. Instead, we have a talented youngster with some untapped potential, and a two-time world champion.

The riders

Out Pol Espargaro, Bradley Smith (both KTM)
In Johann Zarco (Ajo (Moto2)), Jonas Folger (Dynavolt Intact (Moto2))

Tech3 made a conscious decision last year to search out new, younger riders. Luckily for Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, a couple of new jobs opened up. In their place come two very exciting prospects from Moto2.

zarco

5 – Johann Zarco
Age 26 Born Cannes, France
Honours Moto2 World Champion, 2015 & 2016
2016 1st (Moto2), 276pts, Ajo Kalex
Race Record
Class Races Wins Podiums Points Best
125CC 50 1 11 371.5 2nd, 2011
Moto2 88 15 30 1010 1st, x2

Johann Zarco has won two world championships in Moto2 by being boring and consistent. It’s not an insult, he’s very good at what he does, but you won’t seem him flying around with a leg hanging off, or throwing it into the side of someone. He either leads, or slowly works his way to the lead. It’s taken him a few years to get to this level, but now he’s here, he’s been almost untouchable for two years. I highly doubt he’ll have the same level of success right away in MotoGP, but I am very interested to see how he fares.

folger

94 – Jonas Folger
Age 23 Born Mühldorf, Germany
Honours None
2016 7th (Moto2), 167pts, Dynavolt Intact Kalex
Race Record
Class Races Wins Podiums Points Best
125CC 53 1 4 304 6th, 2011
Moto3 31 1 8 276 5th, 2013
Moto2 54 3 11 393 6th, 2015

His shiny new team mate, on the other hand, hasn’t had his considerable talent recognised on a trophy – yet. He has a more exciting style than his team mate – he will take risks, will battle it out – but he also has afternoons where he’s completely anonymous and you’ll barely notice him out there. If he can turn into a consistent rider, he could go far.

The team battle

Zarco’s winning this, right? Surely. He is the better, more consistent rider. I mean, if Folger can somehow put it together for 18 weekends, on the same bike, he has every chance, but Zarco is almost metronomic, and I’d be surprised if he finishes lower than his team mate come November.

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One thought on “MotoGP 2017 preview: Monster Tech 3 Yamaha

  1. Johann Zarco has won two world championships in Moto2 by being boring and consistent. It’s not an insult, he’s very good at what he does, but you won’t seem him flying around with a leg hanging off, or throwing it into the side of someone.

    Moto2 Valencia 2016. (The best race of the season across all three classes.)

    Like

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