MotoGP star rookie Johann Zarco shrugged off criticism by the likes of Valentino Rossi and, more recently, Jorge Lorenzo over his on-track moves.

Instead the Monster Yamaha Tech 3, who has again qualified on the front row for Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, is 'taking it as a positive' as he plots a podium challenge at Phillip Island.

"[The criticism] didn’t affect me because when I take decisions I feel good and I know what I do," Zarco said.

"In the race sometimes we can touch each other. I got some [criticism from] Valentino at the beginning of the year, which was nice because I learned things and people were talking about me!

"In Japan it was this moment in the rain [with Lorenzo]. I'm taking it as positive. You need to fight in the race and take your chance when you can.

"I have this kind of spirit and I'll keep going because I'm growing up, improving and learning so many things. I really believe that with the time and experience I will be up here many times."

Turning to Sunday's 27 lap race, the double Moto2 world champion added:

"I'm so happy because we've been competitive in all the conditions. We made a good step today and it was possible to push, have a good FP4 and fight in qualifying. This track is so fast and when you can manage the bike well it's a fantastic feeling.

"Soft tyres are working well here and if this is the solution for tomorrow I'll take it and try to fight with [Marquez and Vinales]."

Zarco's qualifying time was 0.358s from pole man Marc Marquez and just 0.025s slower than factory Yamaha's Maverick Vinales.


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