MotoGP: Zarco gunning for Rossi's job

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Johann Zarco has once again shown up his factory Yamaha brethren at the Red Bull Ring, by taking the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 bike to an impressive fifth place finish ahead of both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales at last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.

But despite his incredible form, Zarco is at a complete loss to explain his form on the 2016 M1 bike – even if he does admit that he’s gunning for Rossi and Viñales’ jobs!

“I can’t explain very much why I’m faster than them, but I like this track a lot and maybe sometimes that’s worth a little bit more of positive energy than if you’re at a track that you don’t like. I think it can really only be that. But the bike is going well too, and I want to deserve a factory bike in the future – and being in front of them is the way to earn it!”

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And, perhaps worryingly for the factory riders, the double world champion admitted after Sunday’s race that while he felt strong enough to take the fight to factory Hondas and Ducatis as well as his fellow Yamahas, he believes that he still has a lot to learn when it comes to riding a MotoGP bike – and that he’s only going to get faster. 

“I took some risks, even though I wanted to stay focused and remain safe. It was a good weekend, but I’m still learning a lot about how to become stronger every single time. I knew that I could do well when I feel good, but Sunday’s race confirmed that.

“What I maybe learned most was how to ride when the tyre starts to drop though. It takes a different riding style, one that I was able to try and understand in the Brno test and put into practice here, even if I wasn’t able to catch the guys in front.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer