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By Johann Zarco

Zarco: “I like the 2017 M1”

Frenchman debriefs Day 1 of testing, which he finished in P2

All eyes were on Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) on Day 1 at Valencia as the Rookie of the Year and top Yamaha on Sunday tried the 2017 M1 – and the Tech 3 rider didn’t disappoint as he ended the first day fastest – and after having gone fastest on the newer machine.

"I am happy and I like the new bike,” says the Frenchman. Like many, he set some references and then switched to the newer bike – for him, the 2017. “I started on the 2016 bike that I rode this year in order to get some references and a feeling on the first run. Then I tried the 2017 version and overall, I have a good feeling when I am braking which is important. When you start the race, to have more control like this on the brakes means you can fight in a better way so I am pleased.”

Zarco also did a timeattack at the end – fastest and seemingly going to end the day fastest until Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) just hit back at the end of the session to take over. But Zarco was happy with his laptime and re-iterated his satisfaction with the new bike: “I went for a fast lap on new tyres and I’m not far from my qualifying time on Saturday, only one-tenth slower. However, I am using less energy on the bike so for me, testing the new bike was very positive.”

Tomorrow action opens once more at 10:00 (GMT +1).