Johann Zarco has exceeded his own expectations by holding second place in the MotoGP World Championship going into the summer break.

But that doesn't mean the Pramac Ducati star, the only satellite rider in the title top ten, would be content to finish the season as runner-up.

Aware from personal experience how quickly fortunes can change in MotoGP, Zarco is determined to grasp the opportunity now presented to him and try to take the fight to countryman and championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

"It's better than expected and better than I could [target] at the beginning of the season," Zarco said of his current championship position. "But once you are there you need to take this opportunity and now it's my final target to fight for the title and try to be MotoGP champion.

"So if everything has come together now, I have to be clever and go for it. I cannot rest, just use this moment and take it.

"I lost some points on Fabio [at Assen] but gained some on those following me in the championship. Now I hope to come back even stronger for the second half to be a real contender for the title."

While still to win a race in MotoGP, Zarco has finished in second place on four occasions this season to lead the Ducati challenge, albeit slipping to 34-points from Quartararo after a fourth place at Assen was combiend with victory for the Yamaha rider.

Rather than a specific technical difference, Zarco feels Quartararo is on a wave of confidence at the moment, but also believes he is close to reaching a similar bond with the Desmosedici.

"The Yamahas were really strong, but the way I was riding the Yamaha four years ago I would not have been as fast as Fabio [at Assen]. He has a very high confidence," admitted the former Tech3 Yamaha, Red Bull KTM and LCR Honda rider.

"I feel this confidence is coming on the Ducati and I'm so happy that the Ducati bike is bringing me this confidence step-by-step. I would like to get it quicker, but I feel it's coming. It's just taking time.

"I'm trying to be patient because when it will come, I really believe I will be fighting with Fabio at the top of the classification from the Friday. That's the target. To be strong from the Friday and more ready to race against Fabio."

LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami is the next best satellite rider in the 2021 world championship standings, in eleventh place and 81 points behind Zarco.

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