Johann Zarco will go in search of his third consecutive podium from three races in 2021 during tomorrow’s MotoGP race in Portimao as he starts from third on the grid. 

Heading into the race, Yamaha in the hands of Quartararo especially looks to have the optimal race pace. However, Zarco believes he can keep pace which includes sector four where Quartararo has been electric if he’s in a position to follow him. 

Zarco was asked where he thinks the strengths lie between both bikes on this circuit to which he said: "I think in the race maybe the second sector can be difficult for us and for Ducati compared to the Yamaha. And the last sector Fabio [Quartararo] is strong. 

"But maybe if I can follow him, I believe I can stay with him and then also get some advantage on the straight. That is the plan at the moment."

With circuit grip providing challenges for the entire grid, we’ve seen many fast crashes so far in Portimao, with Takaaki Nakagami, Alex Marquez and especially Jorge Martin who has been declared unfit for Sunday’s race. 

Zarco was asked if this was due to the unusual bumps in particular places around the Algarve International Circuit, however, the Pramac rider believes it is a mixture of going ‘faster’ than last year and the tyres ‘surprising’ riders. 

"The crashes we saw this weekend are more that everyone has been faster than in November," said Zarco.

"The crash of Martin in FP3 was more with the new tyre as he got surprised. We know we have to go fast, but when we go with this new tyre on this track there are some little warnings, and you have to wait almost all the outing lap and be very careful to don’t get surprised so that you can push. 

"The asphalt is giving good grip I think, because we have quite hard tyres and it’s holding well but we can still make mistakes. That’s why we got some scares with some riders today.

"For me the track, it’s true that we have bumps, so maybe in a few years we will get a new asphalt in some areas, like the last corner to get a bit more stability. But with more stability we will try to go even faster. But yes, I think this could help."

 

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