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Zarco has "no option" but to aim to win everywhere

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Zarco has "no option" but to aim to win everywhere
By:
Apr 2, 2018, 10:04 AM

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco says he has to go into every MotoGP weekend believing he can win, after leading for most of the Qatar season opener.

Johann Zarco
Rossi overtakes Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing, Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Top 3 after Qualifying: Marc Marquez, Repsol Honda Team, Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Danilo Petrucci, Pramac Racing
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3, Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Zarco led the first 17 of 22 laps in Losail, having set a record lap to claim pole position, before gradually slipping down the order and finishing in eighth place with a front tyre problem.

The French rider has still yet to record a maiden premier class victory, but off the back of his Qatar performance, he says he believes he now has to go to every race aiming for the top step of the podium, starting with the second round of the season at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

"At the beginning, without having started the weekend, you need to aim for the win,” said Zarco in a recent Paris press conference. 

“That's the ambition. Then, according to the practice and if you face some difficulties – set-up problems or maybe a lack of ease on the bike – then you have to revise this aim downwards.

“But when you come strong from a Qatar Grand Prix as I do, there is no other option than aiming for the win."

Asked what he was missing in Qatar to be able to claim victory, Zarco replied: "A little bit of luck. You need to fight and play your cards.

“This time, luck wasn’t on my side, so [I need to] wait until Argentina, go with the win in mind and understand [the situation] as the weekend goes."

Much of the Qatar race was characterised by the leading riders conserving their tyres for much of the distance, with winner Andrea Dovizioso and runner-up Marc Marquez waiting until the final five laps to make a break at the head of the field. 

Zarco however denied that leading the pack for so long ended up contributing to his problems in the final stages of the race, saying that it could have helped his position ultimately.

"Everything was OK with tyre consumption,” he said. “I would even say that I would have used my front tyre more if I had been behind and not in front."

"I would do the same again. Everything was in control. At one point, I was waiting. I said to myself, 'If no one is passing me, it means that I'm still quite fast, so let's see what happens'.

“I feel like when you race behind [another rider], you push more and in the end doing my own line may have helped me to hold [the lead] until five laps to the end and go down only to eighth.”

Additional reporting by Lena Buffa

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Johann Zarco
Teams Tech 3
Author Jamie Klein