After a first season on the Ducati in the Avintia team, Johann has one of the best chances of his career this year, also to permanently cancel the bad 2019 experienced riding the KTM. In the conference preceding the second Grand Prix of the 2021 season, Zarco spoke of his satisfaction with the podium he won and above all his complete confidence in the fact that this Ducati can allow him to fight at the top every Sunday. The Frenchman was fast enough to recall his times mythical backflip to celebrate a victory at the end of the race.
Zarco: “I have to try with the new suit, but I think I can still do the backflip”
“I can’t wait to be able to do my backflip again – said a smiling Zarco – every now and then I try to do it in the gym and I still can. I have yet to try on the new suit, but I think if I need it, I will have the strength to do it! In 2017 I had less experience. Now I think I have everything it takes to have a great season. On Sunday evening Dall’Igna told me ‘in the end you did well to stay in MotoGP at the end of 2019’ and it’s true, because I was really about to return to Moto2. Then I started dealing with Avintia and Gigi pushed asking me to trust him because something good would come. He was right, because by going to Moto2 in 2020, I wouldn’t have been on the podium in MotoGP on Sunday. ”
What do you think is the key to winning on Sunday?
“As Maverick Vinales said, tire wear is the main argument. Having followed Maverick in the race helped me a lot to stay on top until the end. In the end Mir passed me, but at least I had the opportunity to pass him and close second. I think Pecco doesn’t want to lose the race this time and I know he will improve by working on the tires. We will all work to avoid problems in the second part of the race, but we have to do it by managing to be fast until the end. This time we want to fight for the win and not just for the podium, but we need to be able to have a good pace without putting too much stress on the Michelins. ”
Losail seemed on paper a guaranteed victory for Ducati. If you fail to win on Sunday, would you be worried?
“I won’t be worried if we don’t win here. We are competitive and I think we can fight for the podium on every track. Having two bikes on the podium on Sunday is a great sign of our potential. Our goal is to win and I think we have a chance to do it, but we have to work to finalize the potential. ”
For the first time in years there are two Frenchmen at the top in MotoGP. What effect does it have on you to fight with Fabio for the very first positions?
“It’s nice that both Fabio and I are in front, I’d like to fight with him soon for important results. Last year he won some races, I haven’t done it yet but this year I think I have the potential to do it. We are not on the same bike or on the same team, so there is not a lot of strategy between us. When we have to fight to win we will, and I know we will do it intelligently. I think it’s nice for the French fans to have two riders fighting for the top positions. ”
Bagnaia: “if I had gone slower at the beginning, Vinales would have passed earlier”
Also present in the conference was Pecco Bagnaia, who finished in third position in the race at Losail after having dictated the pace for most of the Grand Prix. The Italian knows he has the chance on Sunday to climb the last two steps of the podium and the GP raced last weekend has undoubtedly shown him where he can improve.
“I think I was perfect in the first corner and I’ll try to do the same thing – said Bagnaia – Treating the tires better will certainly be the key. But I think that on Sunday if I had had a lower pace at the beginning, maybe the Yamaha and Suzuki riders would have gone through it first and then managed to impose their own pace.. The wind was also fundamental in the race, and will play its role on Sunday as well. We worked a lot on the data and now we know how to change the set-up, then following Yamaha and Suzuki gave us a big hand in understanding where we have a margin. Never say never when it comes to MotoGP, last year the second races are often very different from the first on the same track. The pace could be very different this week, but we will try to stay ahead again. ”
Bagnaia: “we can get on the podium on every track, this is the key of the season”
Have Yamaha and Suzuki surprised you? Losail seemed like your ideal hunting ground.
“The first race showed us Yamaha and Suzuki very competitive. The first part of the race we were more competitive, then they recovered. We lacked consistency compared to them. Maybe not being able to win on Sunday will not be worrying for me. We know we have the ability to do it, we just have to work better. In 2020 Ducati was competitive on all tracks. Sometimes Jack and I were fast, sometimes Zarco was fast. We know that the package is very competitive and that we can get on the podium on every track and this will be the key to this season. ”
If you had to choose on which tracks to run your test rider, Michele Pirro, which track would you choose?
“I would make Pirro race in Portimao and Aragon, because they are tracks where I suffered. Having the test rider data, too, could help during a race weekend. When you ride with us, your data is very important to us. Also because collecting information during a race weekend is completely different than collecting it during a test day “.
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks