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Zarco: “I’ve been happy from the first day”

Frenchman second fastest overall, one of only three riders into the 1:29s – and top Yamaha

It was almost a perfect birthday present for his Crew Chief Guy Coulon as Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) led the timesheets at the #ThaiTest heading into the final hour – before Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) just spoilt the party. But the mood wasn’t dampened too much, with Zarco only the third man – joining the Repsol Honda teammates – into the 1:29s. The Frenchman did just under 50 laps before calling it a day early, but not without having got through the programme.

“I’m happy I got into the 1:29s,” says Zarco. The Frenchman had set that as his target on Day 3 after only reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Respol Honda Team) achieved the feat on Saturday. “I’ve been happy from the first day, I saw the track for the first time and what I was thinking is that yeah it’s much better for the Yamaha. I’m happy about that. Then working, having a good feeling, riding well…knowing the laptime would come down. I didn’t ride too much on the third day but we kept good tyres to push for the laptime.”

Zarco: "I'm happy I reached the 1:29s"

So what’s the best bit of the test at Buriram before MotoGP™ returns to the track in October?

“What gives me confidence from this test is feeling the bike well, and it’s even better looking forward to Qatar testing and the start of the season,” affirms Zarco. “October looks far away but now I have references on the track. The balance of the bike looks good here and I can control it well, I think it will be a big help for us to adapt to the different weather and grip in October.”

All positive? Seems so. And the Frenchman was top Yamaha – something he made a habit of late in 2017 pretty often – but he says he doesn’t look around him too much at what other teams (and Yamahas) are doing.

“I don’t look around me too much. I have too much to focus on in my own box. I just want to go when I feel good and with great potential, just try to use it…and that’s working well.”

It is, and Zarco will be back out again in Qatar on the 1st March for the final three test days ahead of the Qatar GP two weeks later.