Marquez: "Zarco reminds me of myself as MotoGP rookie"
Reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez says Tech 3 Yamaha rookie sensation Johann Zarco reminds him of himself during his own first season in the premier class.
Zarco, who graduated to MotoGP this year after two straight championship titles in Moto2, led on his premier class debut in Qatar before crashing out - and has since posted three straight top-five finishes.
He was particularly impressive in Jerez last time out, muscling his way past several factory riders in the opening laps to run second before Marquez and Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo relegated him to fourth at the chequered flag.
Speaking after the race in Jerez, Marquez said: "Zarco already was really impressive in Qatar - today I fight with him two, three laps because still my rear tyre was not good enough and he was pushing a lot.
"He reminds me a little bit of me when I arrive in MotoGP - really aggressive, pushing on the limit and warnings and nearly crashing, but in the end it is the way to learn."
Marquez, himself a former Moto2 champion, replaced Casey Stoner in the Honda works MotoGP line-up in 2013, and won the premier class title at the first time of asking.
He continued: "If he [Zarco] wants to learn, he need to be like this. He needs to push from the beginning and try to arrive where he can.
"I think he is in a good way and today he is the first Yamaha, so not so bad."
Lorenzo urges Zarco to be "careful"
While his pace as a rookie has earned him plenty of admiration within the MotoGP paddock, Zarco was criticised by seven-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi in Austin for what the Italian felt was an overly aggressive move - although Marquez subsequently defended the newcomer.
Zarco made contact again with Rossi while charging through the pack in Jerez and said he had "two scary moments" later in the race while trying to match race leader Dani Pedrosa's pace.
Lorenzo, who eventually overtook Zarco for the final podium spot at Jerez, praised the rookie's approach, but reckoned he should be "a little bit more careful" in battling other riders.
"I like a lot the attitude of Johann because he thinks about racing, he trains a lot and he’s very determined on the bike," said Lorenzo. "If he was world champion two times in Moto2, that's because he's good, very good.
"Obviously, the Yamaha for a rookie gives you a lot of confidence and it’s an easy bike. But for sure, he’s very determined, very fast - and sometimes a little bit too determined, especially when he is fighting with another rider.
"He needs to be a little bit more careful because these bikes are bigger and they have more inertia than the Moto2 bikes. But apart from that, I like a lot his attitude, and he’s a really good rider."
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