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By Moto Sprint

"The Ducati challenge doesn’t scare me" - Zarco

The Frenchman is confident of being back to his best in 2020 after taking inspiration from Jorge Lorenzo’s time at the Italian factory

Reale Avinita’s Johann Zarco believes he can challenge at the front in MotoGP™ once again this season as he aims to put a turbulent twelve months behind him. The Frenchman parted ways with the factory KTM squad, deputised for the injured Takaaki Nakagami (LCR Honda Idemitsu) before then going on to sign a factory deal with Ducati for the 2020 season.

Now, the 29-year-old is looking at Jorge Lorenzo’s time with the Italian factory as a blueprint for possible success this coming year. Speaking with Italian newspaper MotoSprint, Zarco says if Lorenzo’s “clean and precise” style can work with a Desmodesici then he’s hopeful his riding style will also be able to gel.

Zarco, the story so far...

First, however, he discussed his reasoning behind signing for Reale Avintia for the upcoming MotoGP™ World Championship: "[Ducati] have promised me that, from 2020 onwards, the Avintia Team will start to grow, there will be real support from Ducati. The step to be a satellite team from a private team is already a step forward.

"Then they told me that they’re interested in me and want to commit with me, and this convinced me. People still believe in me. I went fast in the past and in the small challenge with Honda, I showed that I can still be that rider. I haven’t won yet, but it seems that I still have enough fight in me.

"Dall'Igna didn't know me and I didn’t know him that well yet. We have seen each other several times now though and he is a very passionate character and focused on what he does. There are people that I trust a lot that know him well and they told me that when Dall'Igna promises something - and he doesn’t do it often - he keeps those promises.

"This Ducati challenge doesn't scare me. Of course, I wasn’t able to do it with KTM, but they still don't have a bike that’s won. Maybe they will get there, but I don't know when and I don't have lots of time. [Jorge] Lorenzo struggled last year but he won with Ducati. Many riders with different riding styles have managed to do well on the Desmosedici, so I think it’s quite a homogeneous bike. This gives me confidence.

"Lorenzo's example is very positive for me because he has a very particular style. It’s a unique style, so clean and precise that if he does not have the right feeling, he can’t be fast. He’s always been without half measures: slow or, with Ducati, he manages to win. In Barcelona, ​​at Mugello, in Austria, this all makes me think that Ducati's engineers managed to adapt to him. When he won, we saw a pure Lorenzo.

"This is the strong point of Ducati: they are capable of going a lot in the direction of the rider. While at Honda, which has a rider as strong as Marc, they are more "conservative" let’s say. Ducati has opened up so many possibilities now with Dovizioso, Petrucci and Miller who are all podium contenders. For this reason, I only have to work on my motivation, my determination and, of course, my speed."

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