Eighth in the championship with 31 points, Johann Zarco assumes that his start to the season has been a little more complicated than last year. Now, the context is different for the Frenchman, with a championship that promises to be the longest ever known.
What will take on the guise of an endurance test leads some to believe that the real hierarchy of MotoGP will take place with the start of European racing in the coming weeks. However, Johann Zarco does not share this vision.
“No, I don’t expect a change [with the European races]. It’s always the same effort, and the effort is to do more than you think you can do,” he described during the presentation of the French GP in Paris.
“That’s why we can’t trust anything, because the intensity of each session is sometimes beyond what the mind or body can take. That’s quite difficult and it prevents me from being able to really say whether or not there will be a hierarchy, That’s how I live it, although I think others don’t describe it that way”.
Nobody has really stood out at the start of the championship, and only two riders have managed to get on the podium twice: Álex Rins, who has just added two top 3 finishes, and Enea Bastianini, who can boast of having won twice.
“Compared to the expectations and what I want in each race, the goal of at least always being on the podium does not come,” he acknowledges.
“It is much more difficult than you think. Finding the right keys on the bike to feel comfortable during the 40 minutes of racing is difficult. But the fact of being tenacious, of trying to work very diligently, allows you to believe in it and be consistent . “
In his third season riding a Ducati, Zarco acknowledges that the bike is still under construction.
“I find this Ducati great and it has crazy potential, but unfortunately very difficult to exploit. I have not yet managed to have the key to exploit it. I have the ability to go very fast but without being really comfortable, and that lack of ease consumes me a lot” .
“My adaptation phase to the Ducati is getting better and better, because we can already see compared to last year that this year I have evolved a lot in the phases in which I was weak. I used to lose time under braking, not now.”
“On the technical side, [I have to] manage to find these little keys to bring it closer to my style. It’s been over a year and a half since I’ve had this speech about adaptation, I think there’s potential to go really fast, but It’s not easy yet, at the moment.”
“When I talk about ease, it means being able to handle the bike as you want, being able to overtake or take different trajectories when necessary. A general facility to be able to manage the races and suddenly go and win, because a victory also requires management”.
Victory is, in fact, the unalterable goal that Zarco runs after.
“When you tell yourself that you have the opportunity to compete often for the podium, that there is this speed to be on the podium but not the ease, well, but if there is ease… that can really be happiness,” start dreaming.
“You have to know how to analyze the result very well at the time and take the positive out of each result, like this ninth place in the GP of the Americas. For me it is still positive because it has been a very difficult Grand Prix”.
“If I only thought about the victory, I would be very disappointed with this ninth place. That’s why you really have to be able to judge [the results] in the right way at the time.”
What if it was also a matter of age? When compared to his teammate, driver Jorge Martín, Johann Zarco also takes a step back.
“I am realizing more and more that drivers in their 20s and 30s don’t think the same. The advantage of the 20-year-old driver is that he is more capable of overcoming himself or taking certain risks, and many times that happens, while that with 30 years of experience sometimes means that you don’t want to risk, but it puts a brake on you, maybe that’s why my adaptation or the results that can be expected from me are taking longer to arrive”, concluded the Frenchman.