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Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) needed to take a top six finish at Phillip Island to confirm the title Rookie of the Year, and the Frenchman did that with ease as he took fourth – but the battle was far from easy. It was, however, spectacular.
Watch Zarco's start at Phillip Island in 360 OnBoard
“It was an amazing race today in Australia and I am so happy that I could fight for the victory,” says the French rookie. “Marquez broke away at the end, yet I still managed to lead the Grand Prix. After the tricky start, where I had to close the throttle to avoid touching someone, I lost a lot of positions. However, I was strong and I then overtook many riders and it was an amazing feeling.”
Leading the race, fighting with Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team), Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar), Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) for the podium and pulling off one of the most incredible moves of the race – around the outside at Turn 1 – it came down to a three-way Yamaha war for the podium.
View Zarco, Iannone and Rossi's battle in 360 OnBoard
“I had some moments on the track that I thought I would never live in my life so it was very good to take this experience,” says Zarco. “I could also analyse my rivals and see how they were so fast. On the last lap, I was running in 3rd and trying to get 2nd, and I attempted to overtake Rossi at the final corner on the acceleration. I changed my line to pass him and instead of 2nd, I finished 4th. It's a big shame to miss out on the podium but I need to enjoy what I achieved today.”
Enjoy Zarco's final lap in 360 OnBoard
It was only thousandths that kept the Frenchman away from that rostrum finish, but he’ll be pushing for the same once more in Malaysia and arrives confirmed as Rookie as the Year, top Independent Team rider Down Under and in the fight for that honour in the overall standings this season.
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