Zarco has reached "limit" with two-year-old Yamaha

Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP rider Johann Zarco feels he has reached the "limit" of what is possible to achieve using his two-year-old bike.

Zarco has reached "limit" with two-year-old Yamaha

After qualifying second for the Japanese Grand Prix last weekend, Zarco ended up slumping to sixth place during the Motegi race, and would have been even lower without crashes for Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone ahead.

A poor start immediately put the Frenchman on the back foot, as he and fellow front row starter Jack Miller almost came to blows, and a subsequent improvement in pace came too late for him to salvage a better result.

"Shame about the first four corners," said Zarco. "I was outside in the first one, and also in the next braking [area] I was not feeling comfortable to go in, and I lost a lot of positions at that moment.

"I could not be with the first group at the beginning – even if I lost position, I should have stayed with them, but I was not able to do it. Then after half-distance, I improved my pace, but not enough.

"I wanted to attack Valentino [Rossi] at the end, try to overtake him and fight a bit with him on the last lap, but [Alvaro] Bautista overtook me just before and we lost contact with Valentino.

"A difficult race from the start to the end. I wanted to lead the race but I could do not that plan."

Read Also:

Asked if his poor start knocked him off his stride, Zarco replied: "No. In my mind, even if I could not lead the race, I was not lost. I stayed well concentrated, and even if I was behind, it was not bad.

"But no, I cannot do more. We are just at the limit of what we have."

With both Zarco himself and the Tech 3 team leaving the Yamaha fold to join KTM at the end of the year, Zarco says the team is no longer being helped by the factory.

"No close work with the factory team because I’m leaving and the team is leaving [Yamaha], so we have to finish our races," he said.

"We are not improving, we are just taking the good times when the good times are coming.

"Here was a good track because we can manage well the brakes, and if you miss grip, you just pick up the bike and you go. That’s why I could be close."

Zarco lost ground in the fight to be top independent rider in this year's standings to Cal Crutchlow, who benefitted from Dovizioso's crash to finish second behind newly-crowned champion Marc Marquez.

Crutchlow now holds a 15-point lead over Zarco with three races left to run in 2018.

Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images

shares
comments
Espargaro to try Aprilia "lab bike" in Phillip Island
Previous article

Espargaro to try Aprilia "lab bike" in Phillip Island

Next article

Suzuki's early '19 bike trial was "massively important"

Suzuki's early '19 bike trial was "massively important"
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Prime

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Prime

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Prime

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Prime

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo Prime

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Prime

What's really fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano Prime

The three factors that crowned MotoGP's newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Prime

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Motorsport.com pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on.

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021