Top MotoGP rookie Johann Zarco says he isn’t spending too much time pondering which version of the M1 Yamaha he will ride in 2018.

The French rider has outperformed factory pair Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales at certain circuits this season on the ’16 machine, but asked if he would turn down the chance to ride the 2017 Yamaha next season, Zarco said he was confident he would have a competitive bike whatever happens.

“I don’t know – I don’t think Yamaha did something wrong with the ’17 because they are not doing big changes,” he said.

“They will not give it if something is weak because it makes no sense; for Yamaha the target is to have four bikes on the grid and four bikes competitive, so I think what we did this year with the 2016, because we have given more information from the year before to compare – why not have the 2018 from the factory and let’s see what we can have, but even better bike.

“When I hear all the comments from the media that the 2017 bike is not going and that’s why on some circuits I’m faster, but some others during the season they were strong: Maverick started so well this season and then he struggled,” he added.

“The last race in Australia we were together and I could not see some advantage or if I have better things than them, so no – I really take it easy and don’t think too much.”

Zarco says he has improved immeasurably from pre-season testing in February to his understanding of the Yamaha MotoGP bike now, with the 27-year-old currently holding an impressive sixth place in the standings with only one race to go.

“The MotoGP is already an incredible bike and there is so much things to learn and understand because you need to manage your weekend and the race. In Moto2, you have to manage the weekend, also the race, but in a different way that I understood and I was strong,” he said.

“Then this season I saw that I am not confident in everything but now, from February to October, this gap has been much more less and I’m here, understanding so many things.

“I don’t think too much about the bike and I believe Yamaha, they are clever people, the Japanese, and they help the team a lot. When something is wrong they are worried, so they will manage well for the future.”


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