Zarco's KTM arrival has 'opened Espargaro's mind'

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Zarco's KTM arrival has 'opened Espargaro's mind'
David Gruz
By: David Gruz
Nov 27, 2018, 11:46 AM

Johann Zarco feels the new information he provided during his KTM debut in the Valencia post-season MotoGP test has helped teammate Pol Espargaro to "open his mind" about the bike's issues.

Zarco completed his move to KTM after the end of the 2018 MotoGP season but had a difficult RC16 debut in the Valencia post-season test, ending the two days 17th and 21st and also crashing twice.

His main problem on Day 1 was corner entry, an issue that persisted on the following day as well, but Zarco feels he was still able to give teammate Espargaro new information that helped the Spaniard.

"I think just about acceleration or feeling on the bike, I was saying, 'do you think this feeling is strange'," Zarco explained. "He was answering, 'almost I don't feel anymore because I am used to it'.

"I kind of open his mind back and he was happy for that, that is the fresh information.

"I have a factory team, there is a lot of people around you, but my comment remains the same. I go on the bike, I feel the bike, I feel if I have problem or not or if I have good feelings, and I explain these feelings."

Espargaro is confident Zarco will eventually get up to speed with the KTM, and welcomed the Frenchman's fresh comments on the RC16 prototype.

"He has been fast and he's gonna be fast for sure," said the Spaniard. "He just needs time to adapt to this bike.

"We trust 100 percent Johann because, my problem right now is that I feel some problems - for sure not gonna be the same than Johann because I have been riding this bike for two years we have improved this bike unbelievably much, you cannot believe.

"But still a lot of areas to improve and for sure Johann comes from Yamaha and in Yamaha that part [corner entry] is really good and he compares like that.

"This is nice because he show ways to improve the bike and this is also why KTM took him because he is fast and he is gonna show us some fresh ideas and different things that maybe I can't be able to feel and change."

Zarco admitted that he is considering changing from the riding style that he had on the Yamaha, but at the same time stressed he wants the bike to allow him to ride the way he wants.

"That is possible, I am already thinking about my riding style to change things but what was strong on the Yamaha must be strong also on other bike," he said.

"When I follow Marc [Marquez] I can see that he is strong in the entry and not just because of his skills, even if he has something better than the other riders, but also because the bike is giving him the possibility to go.

"We improve the feeling, that is a good thing, I play better with the bike, just the speed is not [there] yet."

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Pol Espargaro, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

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