Johann Zarco strongly rejected recent rumours that his KTM MotoGP troubles might mean he switches to the World Superbike championship, with Honda, next season.

"The one who gave this information, I don't know who, should lose his job because it is really bullshit," said the Frenchman, in the first year of a two-year factory KTM contract.

"I never spoke with Honda at any time, there is not even a picture that can show it and this information comes [out] like this.

"I don't know from where it came. It looks like it came from the official website or Twitter of WorldSBK put it and they removed it.

"It was strange. I said to Carmelo [Ezpeleta] ‘this is a big, big mistake’ because it can put me in trouble with KTM and that is not good."

Zarco was speaking after setting the 13th fastest lap time, albeit only 0.692s from the top and 0.3s from team-mate Pol Espargaro, during Friday practice in Catalunya.

"[The close laptime] is giving me less sadness and a little bit more hope to being in Q2 tomorrow. It is OK," he said.

Like Espargaro, Zarco was battling the low-grip track conditions but felt the carbon-fibre swingarm had helped.

"I felt immediately that there was no grip. Spinning a lot. But maybe in that condition I had less disadvantage because I was not fighting too much with the bike and it was not moving so much. It was possible to keep some control and finally I have less difference with the top guys.

"Yes, there is a difference [with the carbon fibre swingarm]. It brings some more grip and on this track with very low grip it was helping a lot. You go forward instead of spinning and staying in the same place. You spin, but you go.

"It is good to have a bike with some grip, but it is not doing everything and doesn't change corner entry."

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