Johann Zarco says he didn’t see Dani Pedrosa crash out of the Argentina MotoGP after their near-miss but blames the wet patches for the Repsol Honda rider’s dramatic exit to the race.

During the early lap tussles for positions on the drying track at Termas de Rio Hondo, Zarco dived up the inside of Pedrosa at Turn 13 which sent both riders wide and off the dry line. The Tech3 Yamaha rider stood his bike up to gently accelerate out of the corner, which saw Suzuki’s Alex Rins overtake the pair, but Pedrosa was sent into a nasty highside after slipping off his factory Honda.

Zarco says he wasn’t aware of Pedrosa’s off until a few laps later, believing the Spanish rider had tucked inside behind him, but blames the wet patches for causing his off rather than being forced wide by his overtake.

“I saw Marc [Marquez] and Jack [Miller] leading the race with a better pace than Dani and with Dani, knowing him, he can sometimes be safe at the beginning of the race,” Zarco said. “I didn’t want to miss the rhythm from the two guys at the front so I took the decision to overtake him at Turn 13.

“It was dry on the race line plus the inside line. I used this dry line to overtake but then when you are going into the corner with this different line you have to go wide and the problem is Dani was on the wet.

“I also had to pick up the bike not to crash because if I crashed I would have pushed him off when I crashed. I did not crash on the wet patches but I didn’t know he crashed. I was looking at Alex overtaking and for me Dani was still behind. He has been unlucky on the wet patches.”

Zarco became part of the four-rider breakaway at the front with Miller, Rins and eventual race winner Cal Crutchlow, while Marquez took a ride-through penalty for riding in the wrong direction on the grid in the bizarre start to the race.

With Marquez out of contention the Tech3 Yamaha was eying up a potential win but ultimately conceded to Crutchlow.

“I was thinking about the victory when Marc went on his ride-through and from that point I thought something was possible,” he said. “I was not able to follow Jack and Alex easily and I was pushing all of the time and didn’t race in the same way as with Cal.

“When he overtook me at the end he had the better pace and I was pushing to better his pace as I understood a few things but not enough at the end.

“I was a bit tired, I stayed close in case he made a few mistakes so I could try to get past but after Turn 5 and Turn 7 when I didn’t try I thought maybe Turn 13 but it was good to finish second.”

Zarco moves up to third place in the MotoGP world championship 10 points behind new leader Crutchlow.


Loading Comments...