The last three MotoGP races have seen Johann Zarco lose out on victory by just 0.337s (Valencia), lead for 16 laps (Qatar) and finish runner-up by an even smaller margin of 0.251s (Argentina).

No wonder the French star is continuing to dream of what would be his and the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team's first MotoGP win in Texas this weekend.

The hard acceleration and long straight mean Austin is not as well suited to the M1 on paper - Marc Marquez and Honda have won every previous race. Nonetheless, Zarco finished a fraction behind fourth place Cal Crutchlow as a rookie last season, in a race that also saw contact with Valentino Rossi.

LCR's Crutchlow was also the rider who narrowly beat Zarco in Argentina and now leads the world championship by three points from Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso and ten from Zarco, who is the top Yamaha rider.

“The Circuit of the Americas is a very nice track, although it is physically truly tough and I think it’s maybe even one of the most technical circuits of the year, because we have 20 corners and it’s not easy to go really fast," Zarco said.

"But after the nice podium in Argentina, I’m still very happy about the feeling I could gain on the bike and I hope to have this great feeling again from the first practice on Friday on in order to prepare the race in the best possible way and to be able to fight for another podium.

"Why shouldn’t we think about our first victory as well? I want to dream about it and live this dream at the maximum.”

"Johann did a really strong race last year, after fight hard with Cal Crutchlow," said team boss Herve Poncharal. "We know, that [Texas] is not the easiest circuit for our machine, but right now everything works well between bikes, riders and the team, so we’re confident to fight in front group again."

Hafizh Syahrin also reached a new career high in Argentina, the Malaysian rookie storming to ninth place in only his second premier-class race.

“I’m really happy with the results that we’ve done in the first two races and I’m looking forward to the Grand Prix this weekend," he said. "I try to do the same or end up even better. Before Austin I prepared myself with some training in the boot camp of Colin Edwards.

"So, my physical condition is good, I improved step by step and I’m more than ready for this third round. I can’t wait to meet my team again and I hope I can give my best to them yet again.”

Poncharal added: "Hafizh also did an extraordinary job to finish in the points for second race in a row, with many fast and more experienced riders behind him.

"[Texas] is going to be a tough mission again, having to discover the track with the MotoGP bike, but he has so much enthusiasm and adrenaline, which makes me quite sure he will be fighting for similar positions like in Argentina again."

Syahrin is now the top rookie in the world championship standings, three points ahead of reigning Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli.


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