MotoGP: Zarco ‘expected to be stronger’ than ninth

Published: 25 September 2017

Johann Zarco has admitted that he expected to finish Sunday’s race at the Motorland Aragon circuit much stronger than in ninth place, after failing to find a hoped-for boost at the end of the 23-lap race on used tyres.

The Frenchman nonetheless managed a strong finish to the race inside the top ten and secured valuable points for the independent team championship battle.

“The result is quite good, however, I expected to be stronger in the race with the used tyres, but eventually my opponents were fast too. I got a solid start yet the first few laps were a bit difficult. I tried my best to overtake but in the end, it was not the right opportunity and I lost a lot of positions because I almost crashed.

“After that, I got a solid feeling but I was limited by the front. This was not because of the tyre because even if it was a soft front, the technicians said that the rubber looked ok after the race. So it means that if I was limited, it was possible that the bike's balance was not as perfect as I needed it to be to get close to the front. Nevertheless, I am happy about the race and it was another experience, plus good for the championship. I tried to do my best but to finish only 13 seconds back from the top guys is not so far. However, I missed something to stay with this leading group because when they overtook Kallio, they opened a gap and I don’t think I was strong enough then.”

And while the result might not have quite worked out in his favour, it was yet another valuable learning experience for the MotoGP rookie.

“Anyway, I will learn from it and I need to understand how to use this to be more competitive in the future. I want to improve myself so that I can set the bike up and provide the right information, and also be effective with the team so they can give me the fantastic feeling that you can usually have with the Yamaha.”