Following a double second place finish at the Losail International Circuit, Pramac Ducati rider Johann Zarco heads into round three of the MotoGP championship leading the way. 

While it’s not an unfamiliar position for the French rider to be in following his back-to-back Moto2 titles in 2015 and 2016, it’s a new situation relating to the MotoGP class. 

While Zarco is getting closer to a maiden victory that is surely just around the corner, his consistency is what’s put him in this position through two rounds.

Speaking about heading into a Grand Prix as the championship leader for the first time, Zarco said: "Coming here as the leader is pretty nice, and is giving me just nice feelings. It’s a nice position to start the European tour of the MotoGP. 

"I think here in Portimao the bike is working well. The podium and second place of Jack Miller last year for me is pretty important and means the bike is competitive. 

"Also the feeling I got last year was quite interesting and I was still trying to improve my level. I hope I will have this speed immediately from FP1, and can keep it until qualifying and the race. 

"I’m quite optimistic and this position of leader will also bring me an extra kind of energy to keep pushing for another podium, or if everything happens well, why not have a step better with the victory. 

"We need to start on Friday and see, but I think we have some good things and the potential of the bike is pretty high, so I can hope for a good result I hope." 

Zarco has been the top Ducati in both races so far, and given his relatively young experience on the Desmosedici compared to factory riders Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia, it’s been an impressive adaptation to the Italian manufacturer following just one year with Avintia. 

Zarco was also asked about the role of fighting for the title during today’s press conference. 

The French rider acknowledged that comparing his Moto2 season to this is ‘not the same situation’ but that his ‘experience’ and calm attitude could help him. 

Zarco said: "I think the experience I have. The way I could fight for the second title in 2016 I learned a lot of things. 

"It is not the same situation and with what happened during the last two years, being the leader in the championship, I take it as a nice thing and don’t take it as any pressure. 

"If I can keep this pace for many races, or all the races and fight for the podium to get good points and keep the lead, I think I always expect myself to take it in a light way, as I’m taking it. 

"I understand that it can come or go quickly, so I’m not too much under pressure, and maybe it can be a strong point. We will only see at the end of the season if I’m right or not."



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