Johann Zarco came close to a first ever MotoGP win during the final laps of the Catalunya MotoGP. 

The Pramac Ducati rider was catching race winner Miguel Oliveira at a rapid rate of knots, but just ran out of time on the final lap. 

Zarco was over three seconds down at one stage but managed to close within three tenths of the KTM rider in the end. 

Although a first premier class win still eludes him, Zarco was happy to claim another podium. 

"I was happy to finish second. The last two laps I really pushed a lot to catch Miguel [Oliveira]. I was strong in the first sector, but then the sector two and also the last one was not easy to still gain time," said Zarco. 

"I’ve been thinking to attack him but I didn’t have enough, so it was better to finish second. When you try to catch a rider for a victory it means you are in second place and you don’t want to do any mistake because second is anyway good. 

"The race overall was better than what I could expect yesterday because I could see that I have a good control of the rear. Sometimes it was sliding, but sometimes I could keep it there on the ground to follow the others, so this was nice.  

"But trying not to do any mistakes at the beginning of the race I lost some positions and the others were also attacking. 

"I got Aleix Espargaro, then Marc Marquez, and after that I have to begin to be a bit more aggressive." 

The toughest rider to get passed was fellow Ducati rider Jack Miller as Zarco pointed to his late braking into turn one as a reason why it was particularly difficult. 

This was perhaps key to giving Oliveira the time he needed out front, as getting through on Miller, Joan Mir and Fabio Quartararo, ‘cost me a lot of energy’.

Zarco added: "With Jack [Miller] it was difficult to overtake him because he was braking hard in the first corner. I could not overtake and I think I lost a bit of time and I also got the tyres that were getting a bit too hot behind him. 

"But I was happy to overtake him and then try to catch Fabio [Quartararo] and Joan Mir. This also cost me a lot of energy. I could do it, but this is maybe why for the end of the race I was pretty much on the limit, but just enjoying this podium is perfect."

 

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