Johann Zarco placed his Ducati on the fifth box of the grid, just under two tenths of a second behind his box mate. Five races from the end of the championship, the French rider is fourth in the rankings with 137 points. A gap of only 20 points, or a bit more, separates him from Mir’s Suzuki (157pt) and Bagnaia’s Ducati (161pt), third and second respectively, while Quartararo’s Yamaha stands tall with its 214 points and seems racing towards the title.
“Fifth place is a good result. After two weeks in the Q1, it was nice to get in the Q2. I think I can do well. My race pace was also good in the FP4, and my arm isn’t giving me problems, also because I didn’t do many laps. Knowing that I can solve this problem by next Wednesday also reassures me. Both Pecco and Fabio are very strong,” Johann continued. “If the race is dry, I’ll try to keep up with them, which would already be a good thing, since there are only a few riders who can maintain that pace here at Misano.”
What went wrong at Aragon, and why are the Ducatis so strong here at Misano?
“In Aragon, we had a problem, and when you race at these levels, it takes very little to get nowhere . Here, in Misano, on the other hand, I have excellent sensations. I think part of the reason the Ducatis are going so strong here is because this is where a lot of their testing takes place, and that helps a lot in calibrating the bikes for the race.”
So Wednesday’s arm surgery gave you a new boost?
“Knowing that this will be the last race in which I’ll suffer arm pain, even if I lose strength, gives me a lot of confidence. Today, the pain wasn’t particularly bad, which is reassuring. Tomorrow the race will be long but, at the moment, I’m remaining positive. My race pace is good, and being in the leading group with five Ducatis is a good feeling.”
Dry race or wet race?
“According to the results of the FP2, I think I have more chances with the wet. I’d like to win or go to the podium, but I better not make plans ahead of time and see the track conditions tomorrow.”