The Frenchman, who crashed from the lead at Silverstone, repeated that position in qualifying before being pushed back to ninth on the opening lap of the race.

Zarco’s recovery was then interrupted by a near-miss with Enea Bastianini on lap 6, the Gresini rider losing front tyre pressure due to a damaged rim.

“I think on Saturday afternoon the others did a good step forward and for me it then became a bit more difficult,” said Zarco.

Riders not being consulted UPSETS ME! | MotoGP Sprint Races in 2023

“Then, even if I missed a bit the start, it was not a drama, but the really key point came when I overtook Aleix [for fifth].

“I've been a bit unlucky because I was ready to come into the corner and just in that moment Enea got a technical problem and I almost hit him.

“I expected that he would come into the corner as normal and because he was kind of waiting, having this problem, I almost hit him and had to go straight.”

Zarco: 'Just when I was feeling I could stay with Fabio...'

Although Zarco didn’t lose a lot of positions, he lost touch with countryman Fabio Quartararo, who would go on to claim second place behind Francesco Bagnaia.

“Just when I was feeling good and feeling that I could stay with Fabio, I went straight and from that moment it was quite hard,” said the Pramac Ducati rider.

“The front tyre was getting hot and then it's moving. Then you do some mistakes and you feel that you cannot push much more. So I was kind of waiting, focused to do everything well and trying to cool down the front tyre.

“It worked and at the end the speed was quite good, but only enough to save this fifth place, thanks to the [last lap] crash of Jorge.”

Zarco, still chasing his first MotoGP victory after finishing runner-up ten times, is fourth in the world championship, between factory Ducati rider Bagnaia and Jack Miller.