He never considered pulling back, heading onto the track with the knife between his teeth. In fact, he recovered position after position, even disturbing Marc Marquez. Later he tried to put a stop to Jorge Lorenzo, dreaming of the podium. It was a roaring Sunday for Johann Zarco, forced to settle for fourth place. His was the best of the Yamahas.
“I think it is fantastic, especially because of the confidence I had from the beginning. Maybe I was struggling too much coming out of turns and accelerating, as well as with grip. I am very enthusiastic about the result, because at the start I was able to recover several positions, always maintaining the same confidence. Unfortunately, it was practically impossible to follow the Hondas.”
You gave Lorenzo a run for his money.
“I felt good. I thought I could stay close to Jorge, but he managed to be faster than I was in acceleration in the last eight laps, whereas I struggled. That was what made the difference, so I preferred not to risk, earning a valuable fourth place.”
The tyres played a nasty joke on Rossi and Viñales.
“We worked hard on this aspect and I must say that I felt good. With the medium I felt greater confidence. Maybe Honda had more experience with the hard, showing that they are faster. Unfortunately, Vale and Maverick struggled.”
Did you have to change your riding style after Austin?
“No. Physically, I conserved much more energy compared to Texas. This is definitely a less demanding track. I am very happy, because I think that I am not far from the podium. I just need to work and keep going in this direction.”
The Jerez round will not easily be forgotten in the Tech3 camp, because eighth place went to Jonas Folger. The German finished ahead of Valentino Rossi.
“I am happy. I must say that I felt very confident. Passing a rider like Rossi is completely different from passing the others. I felt fast even though I was having the same problems he was with the tyres. However, I was able to get close and then pass him on the braking section where he is better than I am without a doubt. As for the rest, I can say that I was especially strong in acceleration.”
You struggled at the start.
“I don’t understand why, but today in the early laps I really struggled a lot. When I had to overtake Miller I lost a lot of time, plus I went long because I wasn’t able to be a strong as I would have liked in braking. That penalized me.”
How much did it condition you?
“It’s disappointing because without all the difficulties at the beginning I could have gotten close to Viñales. In fact, he finished three seconds ahead of me, but we had the same race pace.”
This problem has happened before.
“Unfortunately it is not the first time it has happened, because in Qatar and Texas we had the same problem, namely I struggle more than I should braking. I don’t think it has to do with my weight. Maybe I need to change my technique.”
What do you think about Zarco’s fourth place?
“The only difference was the early part of the race. I struggled, whereas Johann proved to be perfect and consistent on pace.”