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MotoGP, Zarco celebrates: “I arrived in Honda at the right time”

The French rider was impressed by the new RC213V he tested in Sepang: “Excellent potential. It’s a bike that was built well.” Good feelings for Nakagami too: “Great improvements on the engine. All the riders said so.”

MotoGP: Zarco celebrates: “I arrived in Honda at the right time”

After finishing the first day on the Sepang circuit in 7th place, Johann Zarco filed away the Shakedowns – a taste of the actual winter tests scheduled for next week – with a 3rd place, three tenths behind the leader, Pedro Acosta.

After at least two very complicated seasons, this is just another reason why the French rider was pleased with his decision to have bid farewell to Ducati at the end of 2023 for Honda, even if many considered him a loser because of this. “It was good to get back on the bike, even if it’s always difficult when it’s hot,” he stated on the official MotoGP website. “I’m happy, because some of the good feelings I had in Valencia have been confirmed here, and this allowed us to test different things.”

The LCR rider was also able to study the behavior of an entirely new bike developed in Japan. “The response was even better,  and I was able to reach interesting times. Overall, it was a good start, which gives me confidence for the future. I think the potential is there and that the RC213 V 2024 was built very well.”

Despite the skepticism of many, the 33-year-old said he’s convinced to have made the right move in leaving Borgo Panigale. “I think I’m lucky to be on the team now. I expect further progress. We’ll see where we are when everyone else is on the track,” he said, then remarking on what aspects still need to be worked on: namely aerodynamics and electronics.

The positive feeling of the rider from Cannes was also reiterated by Takaaki Nakagami, who reached his 7th championship at the court of Lucio Cecchinello, and 10th at the end of the three days in Malaysia.

Everything went smoothly,” he commented. “Above all, I noticed progress with the engine, which is now much easier to control with the accelerator. In general, it performs better, both in terms of torque and top speed. And this is an opinion shared by all the riders of the brand.

The progress made during the break allowed the Honda riders to look forward to the start of the World Championship with optimism. “It looks like we found a solution. Now we’ll have another three days to test new things on the geometry and electronics front. Having said that, the first impression was positive.”


Translated by Leila Myftija

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