Morbidelli: Matching Zarco's rookie season unrealistic
Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli says it is unrealistic for him to match the accomplishments of Johann Zarco from last year in his maiden MotoGP season.
Tech 3's Zarco was one of the most impressive rookies in recent premier class history in 2017, claiming three podiums challenging the factory Yamahas consistently on his way to sixth in the standings.
His successor Morbidelli, a protege of Valentino Rossi, is the highest-profile of the four MotoGP rookies in this year's field and will ride for the Marc VDS Honda team.
But the Italian reckons reaching similar heights to Zarco in his first season at the top level is unlikely.
"They expect me to be, or they hope me to be more or less at Zarco's level," said Morbidelli.
"I know and we all know that Zarco has been a great exception, maybe, also Marc [Marquez], when he arrived in MotoGP he won the championship. Both have done a great first season.
"I don't know if I have the skills and I don't know if I can do that but for sure I will try and I will give my maximum to do it."
Morbidelli, who ended the three-day Sepang test 17th overall, said works Honda rider Marquez would be his main reference as he rides the Spaniard's bike from last year.
"I'm trying to learn from the six-time world champion, who understands the bike the best," he said.
"Obviously the other [Honda] riders have strong points, but without doubt, the reference is Marc Marquez. I'm comparing my data with his from last year because the bike is the same.
"I don't think things are black or white, I obviously have to adapt to the category and also to the bike, understand the strengths of the Honda.
"Also, we must try to adapt the bike to my demands and my way of riding."
Additional reporting by German Garcia Casanova
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