Putting in a valiant fight for victory, Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) took another incredible podium finish in the final race of the season after just losing out to eventual winner Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) on the last lap. But he’s not disappointed, saying that would be the wrong reaction.
“I must be happy,” smiles the Frenchman. “To be disappointed to miss the win would be the wrong way to see the race. As I said yesterday I had the elements to be able to believe in the win and I took it. The start was bad but then I was feeling good and took the lead. I felt Marquez was under control, he was much faster and when I was leading I couldn’t go away – I could feel him there, waiting. He overtook me once and I didn’t want to let him go. I tried again and he let me go in front because he had another job to do. When he overtook me again and wanted to go faster, he almost crashed so I saw another chance to win the race - but if he was losing the front and I was feeling the limit, I said ‘just keep concentration and wait for someone to attack you, save the energy to fight’. And that was a good strategy in the end because I was leading.”
That he was - for much of the race. The Frenchman said goodbye to his rookie season in a similar way to how he began it, at the head of the race. Rookie of the Year, top Independent Team rider and multiple podium finisher, it was an impressive showing for the two-time intermediate class Champion, and he’s satisfied with the close second place in the season finale.
“When Dani passed me on the last lap he did it very well,” explains Zarco. “I could have fought because I was stronger on the brakes but when I tried to catch him I had a moment with the front. But second place…the best thing is to be able to believe you can win until the end. And I think that’s enough for this season!”
It is, and now it’s a day of recovery ahead of the first testing for next year on Tuesday as #2018StartsNow.