French MotoGP rider Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac), who waited seven seasons before winning his first victory in the premier class last Saturday, admitted on Thursday to feeling “less stress” before the Thai Grand Prix. “People ask me if it’s a trigger, I don’t know, we’ll see during the weekend. But at least I am confident, less stressed, because something big has happened,” the 33-year-old from Avignon, who arrived in MotoGP in 2017, told journalists. “I can enjoy it more now, take more time to better tune the bike, and maybe stress less if things don’t go the way I want them to,” he continued.
Last weekend, the Frenchman with eleven second places in MotoGP broke the curse on the Phillip Island circuit, in Australia, during a GP, his 120th in the elite, with a disjointed scenario. His perseverance has been rewarded as he prepares to leave Ducati-Pramac to join Honda-LCR next season, whose bike is considered less efficient. “I would like to take this small step to be even faster for the remaining races, and end the Ducati chapter on the best possible note,” conceded the rider. The Thai Grand Prix circuit, 17th round out of 20 of the World Championship, corresponds to his qualities, he assured, recalling his promising times during free practice, on a dry track, last year. But the rain dampened his hopes of victory during the race, which he finished in fourth position.
“The first race is the hardest to win. Now that we know that we have the ability to win, we have a lot more confidence in ourselves, and here, he can very well fight for victory,” declared Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha). “It’s one of the first times that I’m so happy for someone else to win a race,” insisted his compatriot, with eleven successes in the premier category. The 2021 world champion, in great difficulty this season due to a very poorly performing motorcycle, is aiming in Thailand for direct qualification for Q2, the main qualifying session. “That’s goal number 1. And then, honestly, I don’t have too many goals. Of course, being on the podium, top 5... But the most important thing is to be in Q2.”
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