Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco rocked the Austrian hills on Sunday afternoon and delivered a highly impressive performance to clinch 5th and the top independent honours in the memorable round 11 fight.
The French star began the Grand Prix from the rear of the second row and immediately fought in the leading group when it began.
He broke the race lap record on the 6th lap and superbly held off a late charge from Maverick Viñales before powering across the finish line to record his sixth top five result in his rookie year.
"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,” he said. “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."