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Zarco in the top three to begin home GP

Frenchman flies the flag in third as action opens at Le Mans

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) followed up the announcement of his contract with the team for 2018 by again impressing in the top echelons of the timesheets on Friday at Le Mans – taking P3 and right behind reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

A wet FP1 that then dried out became an even worse FP2 as the rain came down, with Zarco one of those switching to slicks late in the first session of the day to set his fastest lap. In the rain, focus was on analysis and learning, with the rookie needing track time in the conditions to better master them in only his fifth round of MotoGP™.

Johann Zarco, P3: “For me, it was a good opening day to my home Grand Prix. FP1 was positive because we started in wet conditions but then it dried and I finished on slick tyres and on my dry bike. This meant that I could ride a solid lap, which may help for qualifying tomorrow and this is very important. In the afternoon, it was totally wet but we completed a lot of laps and learnt how the new asphalt is in these conditions. In order to be confident in the wet I need time, so step by step, I got better, yet the first guy was incredible today. However, I now have some points to work towards and I will stay cool so that I can improve in the future in similar conditions. It was great to ride in front of my fans, and this gives me good motivation because I like the feeling of saying hello to everyone and seeing the fans all standing up around the circuit. Furthermore, it’s sometimes a bit difficult to get around the paddock on the scooter due to all of the fans, but this is definitely a good thing! I have to also say that it is really nice to already know that I will continue with Monster Yamaha Tech3 next year because we are improving at every race which is important, and if I keep progressing, then we can have a nice target.”

Zarco: "I need more time in the wet"