MotoGP: Zarco closing the gap as Folger lucky to limp away

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Yet another strong result at the British Grand Prix for MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco has left the Frenchman edging closer to Dani Pedrosa in the championship rankings, after the rookie was able to come home in sixth place despite admitting that he wasn’t fast enough in the opening laps of Sunday’s race to finish any further forward.

“I am pretty happy with the final result. The race was positive but the start was tricky for me and it took some time to overtake Pol Espargaró. Once I got past him, I was very consistent throughout the sprint but the leading group ran a really strong pace and in the end, I couldn’t make the difference to catch them.

“I still need to work with the team to find the good setup and riding style to be able to do almost the same lap time from the start to the finish. Ten points are good and I’ve gained some ground on Pedrosa in the championship, which is positive. So overall, I have learnt a lot, I was competitive all weekend and I finished not far from the first guy.”


However, it was a much worse weekend for teammate Jonas Folger, when he was ruled out of Sunday’s race at Silverstone before it even started after suffering a horrific 200mph crash in the morning warm-up session when the brakes on his M1 machine failed on the ultra-fast Hanger Straight.

Coming into Stowe on his out lap, the German reached for the lever only to discover no brake pressure, being forced to dive onto the rear brake before bailing off the bike at high speed. Lucky to come away relatively unscathed from the fall, he was nonetheless ruled out of the race with a severe concussion.

“When I got out of the box, I checked the brake twice and it was actually all OK. Then suddenly there was nothing there before Stowe. I tried it three times, tried with the rear brake, then jumped,” he told German media afterwards.

“When the adrenaline in my body was gone after about half an hour, I had a bad headache. I could barely hold my head up. And I was also extremely shaky, was having shaking bouts. It was impossible to think of a race.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer