Johann Zarco's Argentine MotoGP got off to a nightmare start when he had to take evasive action to avoid Jorge Lorenzo after the Repsol Honda rider mistaking activated the pit-lane limiter.

Things didn't get much better for the Frenchman thereafter, as he fought with his KTM over the following 24 laps, finishing an 'exhausted' 15th after the Morbidelli-Vinales last lap collision.

Factory team-mate Pol Espargaro took the chequered flag as the top 'orange' rider in tenth, almost eight seconds ahead of Zarco, with Tech3 rookie Miguel Oliveira in eleventh.

"I've been unlucky at the beginning of the race, maybe I could be closer to Pol and Miguel but I had to brake a lot to miss Lorenzo," Zarco said.

"If I can be closer to them, fight with them or be the first KTM it will always be a satisfaction. But to go to the top we will have to do some other things."

'Other things' would seem to mean new parts.

"It was getting harder to ride the bike [as the race went on] so I spent a lot of energy," Zarco said.

"It's difficult to experience these kinds of races where everything I would like to do with my riding I cannot at the moment and this makes me fight with the bike and then I'm exhausted.

"Later we will have new things on the bike to work on.

"All the movements that I learned to do in the past are not working. So it's not only one thing to work on, but a global feeling. But I cannot catch it at the moment and I have to accept it.

"But this is an experience, I want to take it the most positive way possible and just keep very high motivation and pleasure to work because all the things I live through now will really make me stronger in the future. I just see it like that."

Despite his current suffering, the six-time MotoGP podium finisher for Tech3 Yamaha is adamant he should not ditch his smooth style and try to mimic Espargaro.

"I can study and analyse his data, for sure it's pretty different, and I'm quite methodical enough to understand what he is doing on the bike. But I don’t want to copy that because for me it won't be the key to then make a big step that will be necessary for the future," he said.

"So I want to keep my smooth and clean style, and from that see where we will improve."

Zarco insists that KTM has not drawn any conclusions as far as developing the bike around one kind of riding style.

"KTM is fully with us, Pol and me," he said. "They are not thinking that we have to follow one or another direction. They are just at the moment taking information and it's pretty good that Miguel is also pretty competitive and beating almost the factory guys, he beat me but not Pol."

Despite the handling difficulties, the former Moto2 champion backs KTM's use of WP suspension, despite the rest of the grid running Ohlins.

"I really think that the WP suspension is good. From Moto2 I remember I got a good feeling, we improved a lot and became - with WP and Kalex - one of the stronger riders, stronger teams.

"So I had my good time in that moment and now we are creating, I hope, this good time for later [in MotoGP]."

Zarco also finished 15th on his KTM debut in Qatar, although the time gap doubled from 15s to over 30s in Argentina, partly due to the startline scare.

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