Johann Zarco has given his first impressions of KTM’s RC16 MotoGP racer, as the Frenchman rode to the 17th fastest time in the first day of MotoGP testing at Valencia.

Coming off the back of two years aboard a satellite Yamaha M1, Zarco noted how the RC16 feels different, particularly when entering turns. “It’s not possible to play with the speed in the entry of the corner,” he said.

“What we knew from the bike I had before is that I really repeat the safe base and the easy base of the bike to immediately be quite competitive, then I work to be like a winner,” he said of his time aboard a Yamaha. “It’s maybe the most difficult plan was the thing we were like missing last year and the last two years.

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“The big difference today was overall here in Valencia that it’s a small track that you must feel comfortable to go fast into the corner. That was maybe the weak point today of the bike, that it was not possible to play with the speed in the entry of the corner so then you lose the time.

“If you come too slow you cannot be fast. And those things it was good it understand it already now, we don’t have any problem about tyres, rear grip, rear spinning, I cannot complain about those things because we are still not fast enough and I’m happy to have this two years’ experience to repeat well to the team.

“First of all, we need to make the other things and when we will be quite fast we are there and we will have the potential to work well. I would say the entry of the corner has been the most difficult part for me today, that’s why I’ve been a bit slow.”

On working with the sizeable KTM entourage, he said, “It’s a good feeling, when you stop and everybody comes around you, it’s quite many people and they are happy about all that I say.

"Sometimes I say maybe I speak too much the same but we take it in mind and that is giving me a good feeling that when I say we have all in our hands to do it well and this is what is necessary

“MotoGP or motorcycle sport is a bike with lots of technology on it and many details to control, so you need people to control all these details. We have it and that is giving me a nice feeling.”

And the plans for the days ahead? “I cannot tell it now, the four days we are going to have before December will be very important and then we still have to ride a lot in February so just being in Valencia, Jerez, Sepang and then Qatar.

“I hope we can have a good base to adapt more or less quite good in all the season so this is the target, if not, it’s just a question of time.”

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