Zarco expects no team orders at Ducati; ‘I already have full support’

Johann Zarco rejects talk of Ducati using F1-style team orders after moving into third place (top Ducati rider) in the MotoGP standings.
Johann Zarco, Pramac Ducati MotoGP Sachsenring
Johann Zarco, Pramac Ducati MotoGP Sachsenring

Zarco, who has been Ducati’s most consistent rider over the last few rounds, took advantage of Francesco Bagnaia crashing out on lap three of the German MotoGP to claim second place, and in doing so moved up to third in the championship. 

Heading into the German Grand Prix Enea Bastianini was third in the standings - three points ahead of Zarco - but with the Italian finishing in tenth, Zarco has now separated himself from the Gresini rider and Bagnaia who suffered a third DNF in four races. 

With Ducati possessing four bikes more than any other manufacturer on the grid, the chance of producing multiple title contenders is high.

And although championship leader Fabio Quartararo is a long way clear of Zarco and the rest of Ducati’s riders, team orders won’t be put in place to try and generate the best result for the leading rider.

Team orders in MotoGP are a rarity, instead it’s something that happens a lot more in Formula 1. 

Asked if Ducati could prioritise him going forward should current results continue, Zarco rejected the idea by saying: "There is no more support to get from Ducati because of my position. That’s the very good thing about Ducati. 

"When you begin the season at Pramac you know you have the full support as a factory rider and that’s really important. 

"We all have the chance to be in the top of the championship. I am the one at the moment in third place because I’ve been consistent in the last four races and the team will always be pushing at the best. 

Johann Zarco, German MotoGP race, 19 June
Johann Zarco, German MotoGP race, 19 June

"We have eight Ducatis on the track and this helps the riders to compare themselves and improve. It also helps Ducati to get good data from the eight riders, but for that they also need to give good material to everyone and this is what they have done. 

"There will not be more support because I’m third, the support is already full. We have one Yamaha and one Aprilia in first and second place. The Yamaha is Fabio [Quartararo] and he is in an incredible moment and very strong. He is controlling everything perfectly. 

"The Aprilia is the surprise of Aleix and everything also works perfectly for him this year. In Ducati we have a very high potential but we had some problems [at start of the season]. It was like ‘high potential, but harder to reach’. When you touch it [the potential] you do lap records and you can win the race. I hope to do this very soon."

‘Last laps were like a nightmare’ - Zarco

Despite using the hard rear tyre, Zarco began to drop away from Quartararo (used the medium) quite considerably during the final few laps. 

In fact, Jack Miller was quickly catching the French rider who described the last five laps as a ‘nightmare’. 

Speaking in the post-race press conference, Zarco said: "I really did the best to follow him and try to catch up because I knew he had the medium rear and I had the hard rear. 

"Maybe I could have an advantage but already after the half-race [distance] the edge grip was hard to handle for me. 

"Fabio was so, so constant. I was losing time to him but trying to follow I got such a big advantage to second place. The last laps were like a nightmare to try and control the bike." 

Quartararo believed medium rear was the tyre to be on as early as MotoGP Warm-up

Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP race, 19 June
Fabio Quartararo, German MotoGP race, 19 June

Despite 21 out of 23 riders electing to use a hard rear tyre, Quartararo took the decision to join former team-mate Maverick Vinales in using the medium rear, a strategy call that was made easier by the pace he demonstrated in morning warm-up.

"With the used medium tyre this morning I felt it was the correct choice because with 27 laps I was doing low 1m 22s,” said Quartararo. 

"On the race the conditions were totally different and from the beginning I was a little bit scared because I was using the tyre a little bit more than I expected to ride fast. 

"The last five/six laps was a total disaster from the rear, but the feeling on the front was super good."

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