Johann Zarco concluded a positive Spanish MotoGP weekend by setting the fastest lap time during a day of official testing at the Jerez circuit on Monday.

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 star, whose second place in the race also moved him to second in the world championship, ruled the timesheets from shortly after midday.

The Frenchman's best time, of 1m 37.730s, came on his 53rd of 63 laps, during a single flying lap run on a different type of soft rear tyre supplied for the test by Michelin. The tyre is to be raced later this season, while the rest of the rubber on offer was the same as the GP weekend.

Zarco's best lap - one of two under the 1m 38s barrier - was quicker than his front row in Saturday's qualifying session, but didn’t quite beat Cal Crutchlow's new pole position record.

Crutchlow was second to Zarco at the test (+0.217s), with another Honda rider, Dani Pedrosa, in third (+0.250s). The next best Yamaha rider after Zarco was Maverick Vinales in fourth (+0.409s), with race winner Marc Marquez fifth (+0.502s) and Valentino Rossi in tenth (+0.943s).

"The base set-up we had during the weekend was good enough, but we wanted to work on it more today and with used tyres – and even new tyres – the control of the bike was feeling better. So I'm happy about that," Zarco explained.

"We wanted to have more control also with the electronics, because sometimes I comment that, 'my bike feels good with the chassis, with the grip, but I feel we are losing time because of the electronics'. Now we tried different things to have a better control of it."

Mention of the electronics immediately prompted questions about the struggling Movistar Yamaha team, whose riders Vinales and Valentino Rossi were left in Zarco's wake throughout qualifying, the race and test.



Does Zarco have a similar problem to the factory team with the electronics?

"I don’t know if it’s the same problem as the Yamaha factory, but I'm working on my side and when I see this difference I try to improve. So today was good to do it.

"The electronics don’t help you to have better grip. When you have a problem of grip you work on your bike [mechanical]. It's more about controlling acceleration that you can work on the electronics."

Zarco said that despite his superior results this weekend he has not been quizzed by the factory Yamaha team, to understand how he is able to suffer less in low grip conditions.

"No. They [leave] me in my nice world, because at the moment my world is pretty nice! My dream maybe… They have all the information from the data and try to improve themselves, to fix the problem they had during the weekend."

Interestingly, Zarco - twice a Moto2 world champion before joining MotoGP at the start of last season - added "what I learned in Moto2 is helping me".

The 600cc class has very basic electronics, putting an emphasis on mechanical grip and careful throttle control.

But the 2019 factory KTM rider didn't want to give any more details: "I don’t know, it's just what I'm doing is working well...

"Last year I said I'm still not using 100% of the bike, so the target this year is to be close to 100% of the capacity of the bike every weekend. I'm still working on it and step by step I'm getting closer.

So how close to 100 are you now?

"Depends, but I think around 93 - that's a good number at the moment!" he joked, referring to the number of world champion Marquez.

The next race will be Zarco's home French round at Le Mans.

Team-mate Hafizh Syahrin sat out Monday's test to rest his healing body after a big cycling accident prior to the Jerez weekend.


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