Johann Zarco looked set to comfortably extend his points advantage over both Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow, until his M1 ran out of fuel on the last lap of Sunday's Misano MotoGP.

But the French rookie - who had been holding seventh for much of the wet race - didn't give up, jumping from his lifeless bike and pushing it as fast as he could along the main straight to the chequered flag.

He lost 90-seconds by the time he gasped his way over the line, in 15th place, two positions behind Crutchlow, who like Lorenzo had fallen early in the race but was able to re-join.

"I must check my heart rate, because maybe the maximum was on this finish line and not on the bike!" Zarco smiled.

"I saw the crash of Crutchlow, then of Lorenzo, and I was thinking, 'these are the two guys behind me in the championship'. Also other guys were crashing. I had some problems, but I said, 'it's difficult for everybody'. I could keep the same distance to Redding but on the last lap I had this fuel problem."

Zarco revealed that he was almost able to nurse his bike to the finish, but it gave up within sight of the flag.

"I got the fuel problem before corner 11, I immediately understood so I tried to stay in sixth gear and really use the minimum of the bike. This was working until corner 14, but then the last two lefts was even less [power]. And at the last corner, I had to get off and run next to the bike.

"It was a long way. I knew there are two different lines; the start line and the finish line, and the finish line was really far! I was running and almost counting [the positions being lost]. Then I saw Crutchlow, and thought, 'Ah, even with the crash he finished in front of me, so you lose less time to crash than to push your bike!'"

The double Moto2 champion's efforts were appreciated by the trackside fans, who cheered the #5 all the way to the line.

"It's good to have the crowd for that," he said. "We have to remember MotoGP races are like a show, and so at least I did some show, and we won't forget it."

While naturally disappointed to lose out on a solid result in such a cruel fashion, Zarco kept a sense of perspective.

"It's really the kind of thing that should not happen - and we are disappointed - but I can do a mistake or it can be maybe the Japanese engineer or some other mechanic that does a mistake. It's racing, it's like that," he said.

"In the end, I got one point, it's better than nothing. And really, I say in my mind that there are much more worse things in life than finishing without fuel."

Crutchlow felt Zarco's extra sighting lap before arriving on the grid may have caused the fuel miscalculation: "He shouldn't have done two sighting laps! Folger finished, but he stopped on the slow-down lap."

Zarco remains sixth and the top satellite rider in the world championship standings, now 15 points ahead of Sunday's runner-up Danilo Petrucci (Pramac Ducati), 18 ahead of Crutchlow (LCR Honda) and 20 clear of Lorenzo (Ducati).


Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment

Yes, yes - it was a good publicity stunt by Zarco to push his bike over the line; but riders shouldn't be given points for pushing a bike to the finish line. You should have to cross the line on your bike and under it's own power. 

Why?  If he can push it across faster than the next rider can ride across, he clearly had *MUCH* better pace, and should get the points.

Apparently you are not aware of the heritage of Grand Prix bike racing. They used to have to run FROM the starting line, jump on their bikes, push start them, and ride off when they got going. There's a great tradition of riders pushing their bikes in this sport.

What if you fall off. On your reading, should they be allowed to rejoin the race? Should they be allowed to push-start mid-race? With or without assistance from officials?

Congrats to Zarco on still salvaging a point for his efforts.

Doing an intentional le mans start is a bit different from pushing a dead bike.  And again; push starting means you're actually restarting the bike and can therefore finish under your own power. Again, not saying it wasn't a good show,  it just doesn't really make sense to take a point from a rider who's team allocated the correct mapping to actually finish the race. The question is where do you draw the line? If the championship comes down to 1 or 2 points and enough riders crash out that simply finishing gives you that point you need to win,  should you be allowed to pick your bike up and push it to the finish? What if you're a lap down or another rider going at full race tilt suddenly comes upon a rider moving at walking pace and isn't prepared to stop? I think it would be wise for race direction to look into just what is allowed and what isn't. Once again,  full props to Zarco for heart; but you have to look at the implications for scenarios in the future.  

It goes without saying that race direction knew what was going on and are fully aware of the rules regarding pushing a dead bike. It has always been allowed just as is has been in car racing (although I confess I do not know if it is still allowed in all forms of car racing).

For what it's worth, you can CRASH across the line, as long as you are touching the bike when it crosses the finish line. (Bo Bendschneyder in moto3 in Assen this year missed out on points due to needing to be in contact with his bike, I think?)

That is the grit, along with tons of talent, that will get Zarco Rossi's bike when Vale retires.

Should get Rossi's bike now!!!

I agree, Rossi has had he day.

Yeah, him pushing his bike across the line for a single point is totally grounds to replace one of the most successful (and definitely the most popular, whether you guys like him or not) riders in Grand Prix motorcycle racing history.


Zarco is not the only rider who has done that, you guys forget Dovi in Argentina last year after Iannone wiped him out.