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Zarco takes positives from strong home race

Johann Zarco was initially dissatisfied to have missed out on the podium in his home Grand Prix, which he led after Takaaki Nakagami crashed. On reflection, however, the Came Iodaracing Project rider now views Le Mans as the start of his championship.

Losail, Austin and Jerez had been tough for Zarco, whose qualifying performances had become worse by the race despite showing better on Sundays – not least in Texas where he climbed to sixth at the finish. In France, the 22-year-old from Cannes qualified third to mark his best grid position since he joined Moto2™ in 2012.

In the aftermath of a dramatic race on Sunday, Zarco felt disillusioned but began to see the positives as time passed by.

“Now that the race is over and I’ve had time to think again, I'm happy,” he told motogp.com during the week following the race. “It was a delight to be leading the Grand Prix. It was very nice and I even smiled to myself inside the helmet. Despite the disappointment at the time, to have finished fifth after being second for such a long time, I do not have to be disappointed. The start of the season was difficult, so I can be content with fifth place.

“I had a little trouble when a rider first overtook me; that distracted me and the others were able to pass. However, I’m thinking that the fifth position here is a good way to restart things and then (I want to) fight again for the podium at Mugello. So I'm disappointed with my start to the season because we hoped to be close to the podium, or on the podium. Unfortunately I failed to do so - sometimes being unlucky and on other occasions because I was not completely comfortable on the Suter.”

Nonetheless, Zarco insists that he is now more comfortable on the Suter chassis.

“This is a motorcycle like no other,” he states firmly. “My team is understanding it too. The reference was Márquez, who had done great things with it (in 2012). That was our base and sometimes I struggled with it, but I try to adapt better to the motorcycle on each and every track because it is much better now. I try to push myself to the limit in each session and every race.”

Zarco’s best campaign to date was that of the 125 class in 2011, when he finished on the podium in 11 of 17 races to become overall runner-up to Spain’s Nico Terol.

Tags:
Moto2, 2013, Johann Zarco

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