The second podium of the season for Johann Zarco seemed to be a done deal, but sometimes the races are cruel and the Frenchman went from launching an attack for second place on the final corner to losing third under the chequered flag. However, in spite of this, the Frenchman can smile for several reasons. “It was an incredible race –Zarco explains – and I am happy to have battled for the win, even if Marquez pulled the pin and got away in the finale. The start was complicated and, having to close the throttle to avoid contact, I lost a lot of positions. Subsequently I had a lot of confidence and traction, especially on the flowing parts, thanks to which I recovered a lot of positions. The team did an outstanding job, especially on Saturday when we took a big step forward with the fine tuning.”
The central stage was a constant duel, as the number five rider confirms, then followed by the bitter end mentioned above.
“I experienced moments on the track that I never would have thought I would have in my life – Johann continues – so it is a positive thing to have had this experience. Rossi was really strong in braking and he closed all the doors in the best possible way. On the last lap I was third and I tried to move into second, overtaking him accelerating out of the last corner. I changed my line to pass, but instead of moving into second I found myself in fourth place. It is a real pity to have missed the podium, but I must appreciate what I learned. It was the best race of the championship, even better than Le Mans where I was on the podium, but without battling.”
Today’s satisfaction does not end here for the Frenchman though, because with his placement today he has mathematically earned the title of Rookie of the Year.
“This result is very satisfying since there were a lot of fast riders like my teammate Jonas, Rins and Lowes. The Rookie of the Year title was the primary objective of the season. Jonas was not a simple adversary, having also taken a great second place finish on the Sachsenring. In any case, being a bit consistent helped me achieve my goal. Now I want to try to maintain sixth place in the championship standings – the number 5 rider concludes – which would even better than the Rookie of the Year title.”