Early race leader Johann Zarco has been magnanimous in defeat after a crash on Sunday took him out of the lead of the race. Zarco was on course to become the first French premier class winner since Regis Laconi in Valencia in 1999 but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
“Despite the end result, I am happy and it was so good to lead the field in my first race”, stated the double Moto2 champion.
“We had a longer warm up because there wasn’t any action on Saturday. The track was not perfect, but my feeling was very strong and my grid position, which was 4th, was close to the top.” Zarco was looking to become the first rider to win a race for Tech 3 Yamaha and to get their first podium in over a year.
Johann continued, saying that he wanted to take the opportunity he was presented with when he realised that he wasn’t far from the front. “Just before the start, the procedure was disrupted because it rained twice and there was a delay. When the GP finally commenced, I was focused and I could see that I was not far from first so I wanted to take the opportunity to do well.”
“I know that my starts are strong and I overtook some good riders at the first corner and I then got into a consistent rhythm. I kept pushing but on the sixth lap, I decided to relax, and maybe I went off the racing line a little bit and then I fell at the second corner”, said Zarco, who had pulled out a 1.7 second lead before he hit the deck.
However, despite the heartbreak for Zarco and let’s face it, the whole of France, Zarco remained upbeat that he has gained valuable experience. “This is a shame but we are always on the limit and I still need to learn the category so this kind of mistake is part of my lesson as a rookie in MotoGP. I am happy in the end, it’s a pity about the result but it’s important for my confidence and I am excited for the Argentina round”.
Kiko Giles @MotoGPKiko