Johann Zarco struggled to put a brave face on in the aftermath of Saturday’s MotoGP qualifying at the Circuit of the Americas, the Frenchman admitting he felt “sad – sad to be slow and fighting with the bike.”

The third round of 2019 has proved to be another tough weekend for the double Moto2 world champion, as Saturday’s morning rain reduced grip and left Zarco chasing front end feel and, as a result, confidence.

Zarco stated he and KTM “have to wait a bit” before the situation improves, referencing new parts that may be coming at the Jerez test in early May.

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Those minor signs of progress that came at the close of preseason testing have not been evident of late. Saturday was another tough outing, when Zarco admitted he “made a couple of steps back.”

“I feel sad,” a downbeat Zarco said. “Sad to be slow and fighting with the bike, even when I'm going slow. So it's pretty difficult at the moment. We know the problem, but we cannot do anything and I have to wait a little bit.

“I really hope in the future I will have a step forward with the bike to feel better and work correctly during all the sessions because the things I could have on Friday we wanted to still go up.

“[Instead] we did a few steps back today and that's why I have to start from 19th position … I hate to start from 19th position. I hate to fight on the bike and go slow.

“And it's pretty complicated to understand these things, how to make better.”

Zarco’s mood wasn’t aided by team-mate Pol Espargaro’s Saturday performance. The Catalan shone in Q2, placing his RC16 in fifth on the grid to achieve KTM’s best qualifying result in the MotoGP class.

“Today was another step back because every time we feel almost good, it means it's our limit at the moment,” said Zarco. “So I need to except this moment and my team knows, they told me, 'We know but we have to wait because we cannot give you the solution right now'.

“I mean they think they understand what I need, but they cannot give it at the moment. So it's really… I tried to adapt but I cannot change everything, so a difficult time to go through.

“I don’t even know in Jerez what I'm going to have, but from the test in Jerez we will start real development work.”

What is he seeking? “Less fighting into the corner,” Zarco said. “When I want to go into the corner I'm going straight and that's the biggest problem.”

 

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