Moto2: Zarco ‘I have to be champion again’

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Reigning champion Johann Zarco says that he believes that he has to become the first every rider to retain the Moto2 championship – and says that knowing what the experience of winning was like last year is his motivation.

“The difference this year from last is me, because this year I am the reigning champion and last year I wasn’t. When I wake up every morning thinking I’m the champion, this adds pressure on me. Last year I got up thinking I wanted to be champion, and now I wake up with the feeling that I have to be champion. This might be a difference, since the work we do is the same as always.”

And while he may currently lead the series through the summer break, pulling out a big advantage over Alex Rins and Sam Lowes after a disaster at Sachsenring for the pair, he also admits that it’s been a rocky season at times.

“I am aware that becoming World Champion again is difficult, and especially after the Jerez test that was very difficult for me. Then in the first few races I didn’t look as strong as I was last year, but this is part of our work.

“This means that we have to appreciate how difficult it is to fight for the championship, considering that everybody wants to win it. That’s why it is always tough and very interesting at the same time, when you start to understand that. It is a pleasure to understand this difficulty and even more so to find the solution to be stronger.”

And despite his considerable championship lead at this point, the Frenchman knows that Moto2 is so unpredictable that it could all change at the drop of a hat – and is doing his best not to get carried away.

“I feel good and I’m happy to be at the top of the standings. This is very important in the fight for the championship. I’m comfortable on the bike and have the mentality to push 100%. We have done a lot, but we are only halfway through the season and we need to be very focused for the second half of the campaign –because I think nothing is done yet. I am happy and motivated to be strong until the end.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer