Johann Zarco remains free of regret despite a promising weekend of MotoGP action at Misano, and insisted his recent riding and bike improvements are still “only enough for eleventh or twelfth position.”

The Frenchman achieved his best dry qualifying result on Saturday (eighth) and came home a respectable eleventh on the Adriatic coast, less than a second behind factory Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci.

But Zarco was adamant he was still lacking the adequate confidence to ride as he wants. “I feel that I cannot fight,” he said when asked if this result was in any way bittersweet after deciding to split from KTM at the end of 2019.

“Today the race was hard,” he said. “The same problem and difficult moment that I am living. I feel that I cannot fight. I do the maximum but it is only enough for eleventh or twelfth position and on a different day maybe the top ten.

“If we can find something pretty good and I can go fast then that is confirmation that I am able to do it…and if I can do it on the KTM then I can do it on another bike.”

Zarco also revealed KTM is scheduled to test its 2020 bike at a test at Motorland Aragon that follows this weekend’s grand prix. He, however, will not be present as he is “not any more in the confidence” of the factory.

“There will be a test at Aragon and I won’t do it because it will be with a totally new bike and I am not any more in the confidence of KTM to be able to do this,” he said. “But, no problem. I need to adapt the bike I have and I will win more time adapting myself for the bikes in the next six races.”

Regarding developments on his future, Zarco explained, “I have to think about it [now] and see the opportunities I can catch. The most realistic one is to become a test rider and show during every test – and maybe any wild-cards I can do – that I can come back strong in ’21.

“Maybe I can find a bike able to win, to find back a feeling and a pleasure on the track that is really blocking me on the KTM at the moment.

“It is very important to remember the MotoGP race pace,” he said when asked if wildcards would be mandatory in any deal as a test rider.

“Even if I am complaining and I am not feeling good then almost every Sunday I am doing a race over 300Ks and for the mind there are things that help to keep a very high pace.

“It’s ongoing work. If I want to prepare well for November then during October I need to have something.”

Opening up on his experiences during Sunday’s 27-lap race, Zarco added, “I was thinking about the Soft rear but I was not sure about the last eight laps. It is always better to have a bit more consistency than to feel better at the beginning and then away from the pace at the end.

“So we followed the choice of everyone, except I went for the soft front and I was pretty happy with my feeling. In the race I had no problem.

“The crash this morning was at turn one on the first lap. I came in and tried to bring the bike into the corner and lost the rear. It was a big highside I did not expect. I was totally sideways and I said ‘this will not finish well’.

“I had a big pain on the ankle but the more I walked the better it got so it was just a big hit that gave me pain. There was no problem during the race. It was satisfying to finish the race.

“I could maybe overtake riders but when I was ready to do it they were crashing in front of me! So I got this advantage to gain positions in this way. Silverstone; I could not finish. So I had the satisfaction here to see the chequered flag.”

 

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