A day of intense work, but on the whole profitable. These were Johann Zarco's first impressions at the end of day 2 (the first for him) of the official MotoGP tests. On the Losail track he had the opportunity to make his debut and make contact with the Ducati of the Pramac Team, taking home an encouraging sixth position in this pre-season test. Despite a gap of four-tenths from the top, the Frenchman was surprised by the speed he showed today.
"I consider it an excellent first day. During the winter I was able to train exclusively with the Panigale V4S, so this was my first test of 2021 on the Desmosedici. I'm quite surprised, I didn't expect to be competitive right from the start ".
For long stretches at the top of today's timesheets, the Cannes rider tested some new things that allowed him to have positive feedback.
"There are no big differences from last year, but only very small parts that helped me. I think these improvements in the engine, transmission and chassis will help us in the race. I have excellent sensations on the bike. The team is fantastic and I brought with me a couple of my trusted mechanics, with Ducati we are on the right path", he concluded.
Jorge Martin: "We must progress in small steps"
While Zarco has considerable experience on the Ducati, on the other side of the Pramac garage Jorge Martin is continuing to dial himself in. For the Spaniard it was the second qualifying session after yesterday's shakedown, in which he had a crash in the final part. In addition to whittling down his best lap time by over two seconds, he was fastest of the rookies with 18th place.
"I have pain in my neck following the crash, but nothing to worry about. Today I went out on the track trying not to repeat the same mistake. I am quite satisfied, I improved on every exit".
Despite what happened, Jorge Martin completed 37 useful laps to continue his adaptation to the bike, without focusing too much on a 'time attack'. These are only the initial collective tests and the road is long, however the rider from Madrid feels extremely happy.
"Unfortunately I was not able to lap with any fast rider, I mostly lapped on my own. In any case I tried to improve my sensations and riding style - he explained - I have to perfect some aspects such as the position in the saddle, but we have several days available to be ready for the debut. At this moment the aim is to take small steps forward, each time ".
At the same time, the 23-year-old is starting to learn the secrets of the Michelin tyres, which are very different from the Dunlops used up to last year in the middle class.
"Compared to Moto2, the tyres of the French manufacturer are a big leap forward. I'm trying to give my best, but I'm still not fast enough to take them to the limit and understand their real potential," he concluded.