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).


Loading Comments...