8 months ago
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Zarco: "Staying in Moto2™ was the right decision"
Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) made history in 2016. As well as becoming the first rider to defend the Moto2™ title since its introduction in 2010, the Frenchman also became the first from his nation to win more than one World Championship – and the first rider since Jorge Lorenzo in 2007 to defend the intermediate class crown. After wrapping up the season, Zarco talked to motogp.com about the year, the pressure – and about what’s waiting in his future in MotoGP™.
Johann Zarco: “It was a very good decision to stay in Moto2™ after my first title. So to fight for the second title brought me some good lessons, some life lessons and racing lessons for me, because I was champion. Every day I woke up thinking ‘I’m champion and I need to be champion again.’”
After proving the class of the field more often than not in 2015, the pressure was certainly on – and the start a difficult one.
JZ05: “Everybody wants to beat me and you are thinking about this in your head and in your mind. The pressure affected me since the beginning. I had a jump start in Qatar; I don’t know if it was because of the pressure or where my mind was. I think the biggest mistake was in the French GP when I crashed. Because after that I could manage well, even if I was losing points in the second half of the season. It was not because of a big mistake; it was just maybe because I was stressed.”
So what were the two key moments for the reigning Champion on his way to title number two?
JZ05: “I think we had two key moments: the first one at Sachsenring. We started the race in Germany and we were on the same number of points in the Championship. And I won the race, he (Alex Rins) crashed so I had 25 points more. And when we started the Japanese race and I only had a one-point advantage. He doesn’t finish the race in the points and I’m second so again, 20 points more. I think these were the two key moment this season.”
Then came the final showdown in Malaysia – and a masterclass in how to win not only a race, but a Championship.
JZ05: “The conditions were very good for me and when I was second behind Morbidelli I remembered that this position would make me champion. But then, when it got dry my feeling was getting better. I didn’t take the lead to say ‘I’m the best’, I just took the lead to be even safer.”
After winning back-to-back in Moto2™, this year the Champion does move up – and is ready for the challenge ahead.
JZ05: “The MotoGP category will be a nice experience after two titles in Moto2™. I can learn a lot and I feel ready to get on a very strong bike with a lot of power, with a French team that has a lot of experience with Yamaha, and this will help me a lot to stay very calm. And because I did a good job in Moto2, I know my way of working is working well with my coach, so I want to stay focused and I have a lot of hope for the future.”
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