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23 days ago
By motogp.com

Moto2™ title contenders talk pressure in Sepang

Zarco, Luthi and Rins meet the media ahead of the penultimate showdown of the year in Malaysia

Moto2™ Press conference at the #MalaysianGP

Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport), Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten) and Alex Rins (Paginas Amarillas HP 40) sat down for a pre-event Press Conference as the Shell Malaysia Motorcycle Grand Prix gets underway, with the pretenders to the Moto2™ crown still locked in battle for the title as the engines fire up for the penultimate round of the season. Talk centered around the title fight – and the pressure that goes with it.

Johann Zarco (226 points – P1): “It’s pretty close and it’s good to remember that! I was focusing on Alex, but now Luthi has gained on me. The person in second is the thing I focus on. He’s pretty strong at the moment. In Australia I could have got a few more points…but the same for Tom, it could have been 5 points less. In Austria I had a good advantage and it seemed almost simple…then in Brno I couldn’t find the feeling in the wet. Then I made a mistake in Silverstone and maybe I lost some confidence. In Japan I had a good race and I was happy to be on the podium. Australia wasn’t like that but I know Phillip Island is a tough track for me. I found my limit and couldn’t get past it. But that’s why the Championship is so good, and it’s interesting to have this situation.

“We have to keep working at maximum capacity, but I’m probably in the best position because I’m leading. I can feel the pressure, but I’ve learnt to live with it. After Aragon the situation was worse but now I have a bit more advantage.”

Tom Luthi (204pts – P2): “These last races have put me in a completely different place in the Championship. I think for me it’s easier than for Johann because there are no calculations. I just want to continue my form and continue working. I think these wins are a result of the consistent work that we do. I changed my Chief Mechanic this season and we’re still learning to understand each other. We’re growing together and it’s something we want to continue. I like it very much at Sepang. It’s brilliant to race here and I have good memories. Now the asphalt it new so that’s a little question mark and it’s a challenge, which I like a lot.

“All riders have pressure but it’s about how you handle it, and being able to use it as positive pressure."

Alex Rins (201pts – P3): “This year I’ve had a lot of problems. In Qatar we had a ride through. In Mugello I started last…then I broke my collarbone. I was ill in MotorLand…I don’t know what will happen until Valencia, but this season has been hard for me and I’ll just try and give my maximum and beat these two guys – they’re hard rivals. My shoulder is ok now. In Japan I was a bit scared because it wasn’t good when I crashed, but I love the track here in Sepang and the track in Valencia. In these two races I need to win, but that will be difficult. Tom won the last two and he’s on a good level, and Johann is always strong.

“Everybody feels pressure, but pressure can be good. For me, needing to win the last two races, it’s pressure but it’s also a challenge. I’m nervous for all races, but I think Zarco is under more pressure than me.”

Moto2™ head out for FP1 at 10:55 local time (GMT +8) as the battle commences, with Zarco knowing that if he wins the race, he wins the title – with two incredible competitors standing in his way.

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