This Sunday, April 24, 2022, Johann Zarco answered journalists’ questions from the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão after the Portuguese Grand Prix.
After taking pole position on Friday, the French driver had a very solid race, with a very nice first corner and above all a good resistance to pressure, against Joan Mir, Jack Miller then Aleix Espargaró. Only his compatriot seemed unattainable…
As usualwe report here the words of Johann Zarco without any formatting, even if it is partially translated (tu in English, tu in French).
Johann Zarco : “ I am clearly very happy because the pole position yesterday gave me a first notch of happiness yesterday and today the race was very good. I lost some time at the start but I could see that I felt pretty good on the brakes, so that gave me pretty good confidence, and I immediately tried to regain the lost positions. So when I overtook Álex Márquez and then Jack Miller, I think that was the key moment of the race for me, because then third, I felt good behind Joan Mir, but not enough to possibly think of catching Fabio. He was too strong, so it was better to stay behind Joan Mir, and keep my concentration behind him. Then when Jack Miller came back I was glad I made the decision to take second, because I knew they had crashed into each other, so maybe I avoided a big crash that way being second. I was a little scared at the end too, with Aleix Espargaró, because he is having a good time in his career and I know he can be strong at the end. I was able to conserve enough energy to give a little extra push on the last lap, and that was enough to take the 20 points. »
Do you think the European circuits are another phase of the championship and what do you expect in Jerez?
“ Sorry because we are really impressed by the fall (in Moto2). I really hope no one gets hurt. It seems so and that is the most important.
I would say I disagree. I understand when you think of Europe as a new start to see who is strong and who has more problems in the races. But this season, there are too many riders ready for the podium: even me this weekend, in these conditions, I couldn’t expect a solid race like that. So I am one of those boys who hope to win and have a chance to win, or of course to be on the podium, and so that makes the championship very hard for everyone. But here, the one who has really shown that he has the rhythm and who has recovered his leading position is Fabio! And he did it perfectly, but it’s not really like the start of Europe, it’s just because we’re here in Portimão where he had a fantastic run last year , and he was able to do it again now. Personally, I take the positive and I try to continue to improve this feeling because the Ducati works well but sometimes still needs to face everything. So when we, and I say us because we are eight riders and all count for Ducati, when we really exploit the potential well, I think we can put more Ducati in the lead. »
This is the second time that we have witnessed a French double. What do you feel ?
” Sharing the podium with Fabio, and above all when it comes to a victory and a second French place, it’s very very good! As I said, I’m happy to hear the French national anthem but it’s always Fabio who plays this French anthem and I’m only here to sing it (laughs). But it’s better than nothing and it’s a very good moment, because as I already said last year, we have ten years of difference with Fabio so to see a Frenchman win… I have to go back a notch , to look at my own situation and to be happy for our country which does not have as in Spain many boys in front. When it’s a French victory, we have to appreciate it, and when I’m second, I’m even happier. If he wins and I’m maybe 5th or 10th, I’m happy for him but very sad for me, but like today I can’t be sad, also because if I only consider this day, he has was incredible thanks to his pace, immediately from the first lap. Sometimes we have to accept when someone says “it’s mine!” “. »
You do this double on election day in France. Are you going to ask the future president for a bonus to represent France in this way?
” Regarding politics, I think it’s better not to talk about it. We will only follow this like everyone else. »
Looking at data from other Ducati riders, where do you need to improve to be a better rider this year?
” I’m trying to improve the braking because that’s Ducati’s strong point, and last year Pecco was using it really, really well. And I’m making progress in that area, which is good. But as you can see, it depends on the circuits: sometimes it’s another driver who takes the advantage and when you analyze the data it’s almost nothing. But almost nothing for 15 corners, that’s a lot at the end of the lap, is even more at the end of the race. But yes, try to use the strong point of the bike well, and when you understand it, the results can come. »
Results of the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix at the Algarve International Autodrome in Portimão:
Classification credit: MotoGP.com