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MotoGP, Zarco rejects the new Honda: "There's nothing positive about this bike"

"I'm not the one who has to tell Honda not to try it anymore in testing, but we all tried it here and no one had good feelings. I knew the challenge when I signed with Honda, I'm less afraid than when I was in KTM and quit."

MotoGP: Zarco rejects the new Honda:

One of the most talked-about topics in the Jerez paddock was undoubtedly the new Honda brought to the track by Stefan Bradl in the race, a bike that seemed revolutionary from a certain point of view and also a strong signal of how hard HRC is working to get back on track. But the verdict on the quality of the design was supposed to come today, with its testing by the four factory riders.

According to Johann Zarco, this verdict is far from positive, although the Frenchman tries hard to remain optimistic about the future.

"Yes, I tried Bradl's bike, the one he used in the race weekend ," Johann confirmed , "I did a few runs on it on the track, but I would say we cannot take anything positive from this bike. Only in one area it seems better than the other, but the times are not coming. It's not the bike we can say 'okay, we took a step forward' with. As I have said many times, all the information gathered is useful and important, it helps to understand the direction to take. It's really difficult today to find a balance on this bike that allows us to be fast."

Did you work a lot on it today?
"I did a lot of laps, I worked on both the bike I had in the race and the other one. I changed the set-up several times, step by step, trying to understand everything that can be done on this bike. I honestly expected to take a bigger step forward with this bike, but it didn't come. No drama, at least this weekend I took a step forward to be closer to our rivals with the bike we have and will be focused on the Le Mans race. The base of the new bike does not give performance."

In short, the direction taken turned out to be wrong.
"I think it's not the right direction. If the bike has to give certain performance and after making so many changes this performance is not coming, it's time to put it to one side."

Was there anything new on the engine as well?
"I tried some things on the engine, I don't want to go into details. They are doing a great job in Honda, that is clear. In my opinion because of all the work they are doing in Honda and the way we push on the track, things will improve soon. It's just that the results are not coming quickly. In my opinion when the right bike arrives, the times will come down naturally. I'm looking forward to that time. Even in this test sometimes it seemed we were on the right track and sometimes we were not. These are things that disturb the rider. But you have to stay calm, understand and accept things. I can't go into too much detail about what we are testing, but that's how it is."

Isn't this an unreleased engine?
"Some things about the engine are different, although it's nothing too different from what we were using this race weekend. We need more, we lose so much time in fast corners and coming out of corners. We can't lean the bike like our rivals do, but I'm certainly not the one to say what it takes to do that."

Do you plan to communicate to Honda that this prototype is to be trashed?
"I'm not interested in that. It's not my job to tell Honda the way they need to work in testing. Now all the riders have tried this new bike and no one had the right feeling, the feeling we wanted. The test team will no longer work on this bike probably. But we are certainly not the ones who have to tell Honda that they don't have to work on this bike anymore, that's not the position I'm in."

Were you aware of how tough the challenge was when you signed with Honda?
"Yes, that's the challenge I knew I was facing when I signed the contract. Portimao and Austin were really tough. This weekend on Saturday I actually wasn't doing bad, and even on Sunday I felt good. I was closer than I was in Austin and that was giving me the right motivation. The challenge is tough, I want to be able to win it. I experienced similar things in KTM but I gave up there because I was too worried about losing my skills. Now, on the other hand, with the experience I have I understand a lot of things much better about the bike, but also about myself. I also see a lot of things differently and in the end I enjoy it, even though I know I am suffering a lot. I think when things get better, though, it will also be more fun."


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