Johann Zarco has poured cold water on the latest rumours sweeping the MotoGP paddock, which suggest he will join Avintia Ducati next season.

The Frenchman insists his main target is still Jorge Lorenzo's newly-vacated Repsol Honda seat and that he would rather return to Moto2 than join current MotoGP backmarkers Avintia.

"I want a good team and a good bike and for me Avintia is not a top team, so if I have to lose more myself in that place, I will manage to move to Moto2," Zarco said. "But the target is the Honda place at the moment."

French GP promoter Claude Michy is present at Valencia to help Zarco secure a 2020 ride.

"He's not my manager, but he's helping me a lot. So I'm confident with him because he knows really well what I need," Zarco said.

"But it's not too much in my hands! Because there are so many things to take into consideration to catch the position of Jorge or be with Honda [next year].

"I want a good bike, with a good team, and then work on myself. Because I believe in what I can do and I see that when the feeling is coming back, the motivation is even getting better because you can work and progress."

The latest gossip is that Alex Marquez has indeed got the Repsol seat, alongside brother Marc, while Zarco was later being linked with Pramac Ducati... However, once the dust had settled, Zarco's most likely option seems to be taking over Alex's Marc VDS Moto2 seat, to try and secure a third intermediate class title while aiming for a 2021 MotoGP comeback.

Either way, the Frenchman will start what looks like being his final Honda appearance from 13th on the grid at Valencia on Sunday.

Zarco felt he was too cautious in this morning's chilly FP3 session, costing him direct access to Qualifying 2, but believes a top eight is possible in the race.

"I'm disappointed about the position. I think this morning I was too worried about the cold and really didn’t want to make a mistake and crash in a 'stupid' place and lose time," he said.

"Because I'm on the good way to catch the good confidence on the bike. The faster you go on this bike the better the bike answers and I love this feeling, but it's not easy to go in that area of riding.

"I paid for it in the afternoon because the progress was quite good, the feeling was coming better, a better control of the bike, and when I need to go faster I can do it. But it was not enough. Rins and Pol did a good lap time in Qualifying 1 and this did not put me in the Qualifying 2.

"So, disappointed for that side, but then I have to accept also it's part of the game and all that I'm learning again or feeling again is pretty positive.

"I think the level of the bike is around the top five, and if you do everything good on it you can be there. I'm not there yet, so it means it's not easy. But if it was easy I think more people would be at this level.

"Let's see tomorrow. We did a step in FP4, so I believe I can do a good race. I can wish to be back in the top eight group as in Malaysia. If I'm around that place, I think I will be happy."



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