Johann Zarco has likened the possibility of taking over Jorge Lorenzo’s seat in the Repsol Honda team to an “exceptional dream” and stated “I hope I will have the chance to be there” in the 2020 MotoGP season.

The Frenchman was buoyed “just thinking about” a possible place on the 2020 MotoGP grid, be it in Lorenzo’s place or with the satellite LCR Honda squad. At the time of speaking, it seemed Zarco was anticipating either he or Cal Crutchlow would be the names considered to be Marc Marquez’s team-mate.

But Marquez’s comments in the press conference inferred younger brother Alex is on the list of riders that could wear Repsol blue and orange in 2020. Either way, Zarco said his first target remains securing a place in the MotoGP class for next year.

“For my future I don’t know yet. I don’t have too many words to say on the announcement of Jorge. It is kinda positive for me for next year. There is a place getting free for the 2020 season. Where I don’t know but somewhere there is a free place.

“That’s a chance for me to ride next year and just thinking about this gives me a smile. Since August I don’t know what I can do for next year. I still don’t know now but now on the paper there is a possibility.

“The first target is the MotoGP category for sure. I am discovering a super team here with Lucio Cecchinello on a good bike too. It is all a bonus where I can be. For sure the Repsol Honda team is the best one and the factory team and just from that would be an exceptional dream to catch in this complicated season.

“But, as I say, but from the moment that I did not know where I could race to now where I almost have a choice from factory to Lucio, it is almost no price. It doesn’t change the target for this weekend.

“I’m really focussed to do the right job on the Honda bike. I got good feelings in Malaysia and I catched back the right way to have a strong level of riding and I want to restart at this level in FP1 and I can maybe still grow-up and find the base for a strong race on Sunday.

“I will keep focussed on a simple target like this and this will help me to do a good job and show a good capacity to Honda.

“For all the steps [involved] with a factory team it is still the dream place, this is logical. We heard Cal say he is the longer time in Honda so he deserves the bike more than me.

“I don’t know if we can use this word ‘deserve’, as I said I took a lot of risks this season and I am still in risk and consequence for my career and I showed at least that I can still bite very strong to catch a dream like the factory team, learning things for sure.

“It doesn’t mean I can be at the level of Marc immediately. Even in the last fifteen days Marc is the strongest one on the Honda, but from what I can see and learn. I believe I can push myself as teammate to be close to him. I hope I will have the chance to be there.”

When does Zarco expect to learn of Honda’s decision? “I live day after day,” he said. “And this has not brought me bad things at the moment. I’m living well and I am kind of happy since I flew back from Malaysia and there is no price that I could get back from good feelings on a race bike.

“From this I am happy, even if I don’t know what to do next year yet. I removed a lot of doubt on myself and this doesn’t have a price. First target this weekend is to do a great job and then have the opportunity to test. If I test in Valencia then I will test in Jerez – I think this is logical – but let’s see with which colour.”