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Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) has criticised Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) for a move made by the Frenchman in Sunday’s Japanese GP, as the two riders came together on track in the early stages of the rain-soaked race.
“You saw what happened,” said Lorenzo. “It’s not the first time he’s done this kind of thing – with me but also with two or three other riders. But he keeps doing it as though he’s playing on the Playstation on time attack, like there’s no one at the side; very aggressive. I went to his box but he doesn’t understand he’s doing something bad and he won’t change. Someone should tell him to be more calm. He thinks he’s right and doing good, and that you or we need to be careful – not that he has to calm down. I would like to speak with the Safety Commission to see what we can do, because something could happen in future.”
Lorenzo vs Zarco: riders discuss contact at Motegi
As Lorenzo pointed out, there was another high-profile incident of disagreement about the Frenchman’s aggression earlier in the year that came from Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) after the Americas GP in Austin. But now, as then, Zarco maintains that these moments are a normal part of racing.
“I was confident with the front so in Turn 9 I could attack,” explained the Frenchman. “Then he tried to stay on the outside but when I went out the corner I didn’t see him, I didn’t think he could be there and we touched because of my acceleration I went normally on my line and we touched each other. It was quite a strong touch but it was normal in the race. Because I was on the inside I got the advantage. Nobody crashed is the good thing.”
Zarco's move on Lorenzo: 360 OnBoard
The rookie – who started from pole - was able to move ahead and stay ahead of the Ducati rider with the move, before starting to struggle more later in the race and moving back to cross the line in P8. Lorenzo, meanwhile, dropped back earlier as he suffered with rear grip – but was able to counteract the problem somewhat by sliding the rear to generate more temperature in the tyre, fighting back up to sixth at the flag.
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