MotoGP: Zarco tops Jerez testing

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Johann Zarco has topped a day of testing following the race at Jerez, spending the day working on set-up and making the most of his time while his rivals concentrated on working on new parts.

Most noticeable of those was not two but three new aero fairing designs for the Repsol Honda duo, with Marquez admitting that the nature of the next round in Le Mans means they may need to have theirs homologated in time for the French round.

“The test today was good for me and I’m pretty happy that I was that fast. All the weekend in Jerez I was feeling good, so the target was to keep trying things with the setup and keep enjoying riding the bike. I think I understood many things during the race.

“Anyway, the target was to find more grip and use the bike well and at the moment it’s going quite good. I didn’t try any new parts, because I wanted to keep my work simple, so we were just working and trying things personally to improve ourselves. I did the 1’37.7 in the afternoon, which means the new tyre from Michelin was working well. You never have the same mind like in Qualifying, so I’m very happy, because I’m faster than Saturday.”

Working on both new parts and electronic settings for the Yamaha, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales also left the test happier than they were during the weekend – but admitting that it could still be weeks before they feel the full benefit of the work done.

That came after what was reportedly a heated technical meeting between the riders and their Japanese engineers on Sunday night, but an upbeat Rossi sounded more positive on Monday that his words had caused the right effect on Yamaha.

“We had a lot of things to do and it was a good test. We tried some different solutions, some were better, some less so, but it was important and we improved a bit. For me, at the next test we'll have something more important to try. The new Michelin tyres are very good, they improved a lot, they gave a lot more grip and you can go faster, so they gave a good feeling.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer