Today all eyes were on Marc Marquez's manoeuvre in Q1 when he took advantage of Maverick Vinales and cunningly kept him out of Q2. A strategy that is obviously leading to a lot of discussion and a topic that almost all the riders tackled in the meeting with the journalists at the end of the day. Johann Zarco did the same, and today he actually replicated this technique by taking advantage of his brand-mates Bagnaia and Miller to snatch the time in qualifying.
The Frenchman was honest about it, broaching the problem openly and recognizing that sometimes you need to be cunning to make up for a lack of performance or at least not enough to be in front.
"Today I found myself in Marc's position. I followed someone to make my time, so I can't comment. When you feel strong you can even stay ahead and just think about being fast. Sometimes you feel that way and when it happens it's nice. Everyone would like to be in this condition. Sometimes you need to do these strategies. Marc is strong even in this; when he chooses not to be followed, he is able to enter the pits and then go out to find himself alone. Fabio always goes alone; he doesn't want anyone around him waiting for him. I hope to experience this feeling during the season. But sometimes you have to push hard because there is a very narrow door to make the time and if you miss it, you don’t make the time. Today three riders followed Bagnaia and all were helped by the situation. He felt strong and pushed hard anyway ".
Don't you think this is deplorable behaviour?
"I saw what Marc did. We know that the tow in categories like Moto3 is fundamental, while in MotoGP it is more a question of having a benchmark to follow. We know that Marc is suffering a bit these weekends and he did it. He pushed Maverick to the limit. In the end it went well for him because he qualified for Q2 while Maverick stayed out. I would call it the dark side of our sport, if you can't play like that, you're not at this level. You must try to be as clean as possible, but sometimes it happens that you can't be that clean. Maverick was struck by that; Marc was good at staying behind him. Like I said, it's the dark side of our sport. I don't think it's possible to penalize him. I think that in MotoGP it is difficult to wait for someone, because the tyre temperature drops immediately. You have to be very confident to follow someone and use this strategy, it is also a risk. "
Today you followed Miller and Bagnaia, do you think you have learned something that could help you in the race tomorrow?
"Behind Jack, when you push hard, it's hard to tell if you're learning anything, but at least you use your bike's potential well. Tonight I'll look at all the data. One of the advantages of Ducati is that we share all the data with the other riders. It will be interesting to understand this last lap, to understand how it arrived. I have some ideas; the data will confirm them ".
You made a big step forward between yesterday and today…
"I'm also very happy with how FP3 went. We made a good step forward and I immediately set a good time to take Q2. When it's warmer I struggle a bit, so in FP4 I tried to do a lot of laps to understand the possible conditions of the race. In my first run I was slow today, but I had Pecco in front and I was able to do a good lap. The result is this front row. I did not expect to make such a big step between yesterday and today, so we know we can do another one. I think that tomorrow in the warmup we will experiment with some other ideas to understand if we can take another clear step forward, it will depend on the temperatures! ".
Is there anything to improve significantly on your Ducati?
"We continue to suffer in the third sector, but even today we can see that we are still missing something, perhaps in the Arrabbiata. The step forward this morning helped me everywhere, it was a good change for every point of the track. Tomorrow I want to find other solutions, because I want to be able to fight for the race".
How did you experience the Dupasquier accident?
"When I entered the garage for FP4 I knew that the session had been delayed and I wanted to leave the garage, because I know that when there are not many replays of the accident there are some problems, some bad problems. I went out and stayed in my truck, in and out. It worked to try to calm me down and get me ready for my session. I didn't want to be hit too hard in the heart and body by this, because you know you have to get back on the bike afterwards as if nothing had happened, it's hard to explain, maybe being a bit older helps me not to feel too shocked and to be ready when I have to get out on the track. "