Johann Zarco in Australia broke the jinx, the one that had not allowed him to win in MotoGP for 120 Grands Prix. The Frenchman had often come close, but he lacked that spark that allowed him to climb to the top step of the podium at Phillip Island. He had a few days to enjoy that victory and now, in Thailand, many are wondering if achieving it has changed him.
“We'll see on the track, that victory left me with good feelings for many days - he smiled - Many people ask me if it will make me click to do even better, but I don't know. I definitely have more confidence and feel less stress, as if something big had arrived and now I can have fun and take the time to get the bike right with the team."
The Pramac team rider dug into his memory to find similar sensations in his career.
“It’s really like the first title, like a feeling of ‘this is done’. And then you find this way to ride again, to perform, and to try to win again. This one has maybe been the same feeling as the first title, because the first title is coming after many races and from a child until 25 years old you want to be world champion. And then you become world champion. So, it’s a long way to wait and like this one, 120 races.”
Will his opponents now see him differently?
“I was happy to see many riders congratulate me, I could see in their eyes that it was very sincere. It was very nice. They were happy for me and this gives you a nice feeling. I think all the riders respect everyone and they know that I can be fast. It’s just difficult sometimes to make this extra step. What they think about me, I don’t think will change” he replied.
To have more, we will have to wait what the Buriram track says.
“Last year I was quite fast in the dry practice, and this motivates me, perhaps it is a good track to continue with the same pace - Zarco is confident - Bagnaia, Bezzecchi and Martin use the bike very well and I would love to make this little step in the last few races to finish this Ducati chapter in the best way possible.”
Johann will not change his routine: “I have my way and I will use it in the best possible way. Before thinking about winning, you must work well from the beginning and then understand if you are fast enough to work on the mental side” he explained.
He will still have 4 more GPs to enjoy the Ducati, then the Honda will be waiting for him. A victory will perhaps allow him to believe in himself more on a bike that is not so competitive.
“It will be even easier, I think. So, I learn from this. And clearly it will be a useful experience for the next two years” he kept his feet firmly on the ground.