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By Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Zarco: "This is part of the game"

Tyre swap didn't pay off for the French rookie - but it was all part of another impressive weekend of progress

Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took an incredible maiden pole position at the Motul TT Assen, and the Frenchman then led from the off before battling it out with Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) and Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) at the front. Then, it started to rain - although lightly - and the Frenchman decided to take the gamble; the first to pit for a bike change.

The conditions didn't worsen and the gamble didn't pay off - but Zarco says he's happy with his choice, unable to push on slicks in the conditions.

Johann Zarco, P14: “Overall, I have to say that today was actually positive. I made a very good start from pole position when it was dry at the beginning, and I took the lead which was a great feeling. No one passed me and I did the best that I could by riding my references. After that, I started to fight with the other riders and we changed places. At two points on the track, I was struggling a lot compared to them, yet I managed to stay in the group for a bit, but then it rained. Honestly, at this point, I was nervous about crashing because we are on the limit anyway but when we see rain, it can be scary. I couldn't push anymore with the slick tyres, so I took the decision to swap bikes. In the end, it didn’t rain enough to make a difference yet, I couldn't carry on with my dry bike. This is part of the game and sure, we made some mistakes, which includes a ride through penalty but I didn’t lose so many positions. I want to say that it was a positive Sunday because I was competitive at the beginning and in the dry conditions, plus, I was able to stay with the leaders and fight for the podium. This is the target so we just need to build everything up in order to reach it, but we are close.”

Zarco talks about his mixed fortunes at the #DutchGP