Motorcycles and riders, there's really nothing missing in EICMA's 2019 edition. Johann Zarco is also one of Tuesday's guests. The French rider was, in fact, a guest at the Shark stand where, ironically, he met Jorge Lorenzo, who uses the same brand of helmet.
Both riders are undoubtedly the hot names of the 2020 market, since a big question mark hovers over their future, above all tied to what #99 will do. The Milan event was an opportunity to take stock for Zarco after seeing him in action in the last two races.
"As you well know, I come from a particular period, since I had to learn a new bike in the last two GPs," Zarco began."I'm still happy because I was able to learn the Honda well in Malaysia, and I'm excited about it."
Johann, as we all know, you made a courageous choice this year, namely, leaving KTM.
"You need courage, since it always depends on what you want to do in your life. I want to race for victories and podiums and have the adrenaline I need. This year, I didn't succeed, I was sad, so I thought it better to leave KTM. Now I managed to have an opportunity with the LCR team and I'm trying to make the most of it."
How much courage does it take to ride a bike like the Honda?
"The same you need to ride another MotoGP, since we're going at 300 km/h, and it's difficult for everyone. There are motorcycles that respond to the commands of a rider better than others and, consequently, we have to adapt."
Many wonder what Zarco will do in 2020.
"The truth is that I don't hide secrets about my future, since I still don't know what I'm going to do. Should a door open with Honda, I'd be the right person, since I'm the only rider who is free. As you well know, this is a delicate situation, but I'm living it to the fullest. I'm not afraid of staying put until next year."
Have you ever imagined yourself in the last few weeks with an official bike and uniform?
"It's a dream, and I don't deny having imagined it, also because I tried the Honda and I was able to be competitive. However, I still have a lot of room to grow, and I'd like to take advantage of this possibility to return to being a top rider."
What can Zarco give to Honda?
"The possibility of seeing a second rider on the podium and not just Marquez. As we all know, Marc is a strong rider, but by taking advantage of the qualities of the bike to the fullest, we could aim for the podium."
But Crutchlow said it would be foolish to think of replacing Lorenzo with Zarco in the official team.
"He likes to play around with the media. Cal has long been with Honda and would like to be in the official team. But he's already sent some signals concerning the fact of wanting to stop, since he has a child and has been racing in the MotoGP for many years. On the other hand, I'm in a different situation. I neither have children nor a bike. So I'd have the determination to race more than a year, and there would be more future with me than with Cal. Obviously, there's respect for him, but to be with Honda, I'm willing to stay put for a year."
In Valencia, you said you're aiming for the top five places.
The bike can aim for to the top five, but I don't know if I'll be ready or not. The Honda can definitely reach the first five places, but if I had to finish seventh or eighth, it wouldn't be that bad."
Ironically, today you met Lorenzo at the Shark stand.
Did you speak?
"There's great respect for Jorge. He's a champion, and I have the utmost respect for him. It's a pity he got hurt. Apparently, he seems afraid and is unable to make the most of the bike's potential."