Premier class rookie Johann Zarco says he earned more plaudits for leading the MotoGP race in Qatar for six laps than he did for winning two Moto2 world titles.
The French rider has urged fans not to forget the importance of the smaller Moto2 and Moto3 categories as he vowed to use his position as a MotoGP rider to highlight the talent of those riders competing in the support classes.
“After Qatar I could see that I became almost more famous and people speak about me after six laps in MotoGP than they did about two world titles in Moto2,” said Zarco.
“It's always good and we must take it as positive but I thank them for seeing it and thinking I am a good rider too, but also I say don't forget the small categories because they are so important. The people who know these categories are important are the riders, because we are coming from there and we are looking at the guys in those categories because we know what they do and what they can become.
“The world doesn't know it enough so I try to use this MotoGP status to make the people look at the smaller categories.”
Zarco made amends for his spill in Qatar by claiming a solid fifth place and his first MotoGP points last time out in Argentina. The Monster Tech 3 Yamaha rider says he is learning all the time as he now looks ahead to round three of the championship in Texas this weekend.
“I'm happy and it's a good start for the confidence and leading in the first six laps in Qatar was good. I was disappointed [with spill in Qatar] but the target is not to fight for the championship so I could enjoy and learn things,” he said.
“Argentina was different for me and it is not so easy to manage the qualifying and at the same time prepare for the race, so I learned from this and the confidence from Qatar helped me to fight in the race on Sunday in Argentina.
“I could fight well at the beginning of the race and as Alvaro [Bautista] said, he had good pace but he was fighting on the first half and I was fighting in the first half, which was so good for me. But in the second half, it was more difficult to keep the same pace as him, but at least I saved this fifth position. It has been so good for the team and good for the confidence,” added Zarco.
“Let's see now in Texas what I can do. I want to keep this target of going on the bike, just push at the maximum and see where I am and I hope to be always in the top positions. I think that if I can keep pushing in this way, then we can set well the bike and I can set also my mind for the pace and be ready for the race.”