Johann Zarco has improved to third position in the MotoGP World Championship after finishing second at his home GP in Le Mans. 

The first half of the race was a tricky one for Zarco who got a disappointing start, but once riders pitted and therefore fitted the wet tyres after a dry opening few laps, Zarco was able to make his way into victory contention due to his lightning pace just after the mid-race stage. 

Zarco closed a 10+ second gap to fellow Frenchman Fabio Quartararo as the race went on and made the inevitable move into second with five laps remaining.

Unlike fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller who had a soft wet rear on his factory bike, Zarco had a medium rear which took longer to get into optimal working temperature, which he believes cost him the chance to close the Australian down in the final stages. 

"I get out on the rain tyres in fifth position so it was okay, but there was a lot of rain and a big wind. We got wind all the weekend but not in that direction and not that strong. A few references on the track were different and my medium rear tyre took four laps to get ready,” said Zarco.  

"I think if I have to think about the victory I would say I’ve lost time in these four laps. Too many seconds I’ve lost there. 

"But to be a bit disappointed to miss the victory would be to think in the wrong way, so I’m pretty happy to be second and when the track get a bit more dry and the rear tyre was getting more and more comfortable to use I was enjoying on the bike and it was nice also to catch the guys. 

"I could not see Jack [Miller]. After I overtook Nakagami I could see Fabio [Quartararo], he was far but I knew I could catch him, and after Fabio I saw Jack again pretty far. 

"I believe I can maybe win, but not enough time so I’m pleased with these 20 points today."

Following a DNF in Portimao and eighth in Jerez, it was important for Zarco to get a strong points haul at his home GP.

Having already led the championship following the two Qatar rounds, Zarco acknowledged his experience and having led the championship standings already as a reason he can fight for the title. 

"It’s perfect! Because when you lead the championship after the first two races in Qatar you believe in your chances to fight for the title,” added Zarco. 

"I think I have enough experience, I can have even more experience on the Ducati because maybe this is the few things missing to be completely comfortable on the Ducati. 

"But the bike is ready, the team is ready and I would say that I can be ready - just need to control always more and more the Ducati. 

"If this is coming fast enough during the season I have a big chance for the title."