Red Bull Factory KTM rider Johann Zarco said that he hopes he and his KTM team learn a lot from starting on the outside of the front for tomorrows Czech MotoGP in Brno.
The Frenchman produced a stunning display which saw him not only progress through Q1 for the first time, but also capitalised and went on to use the data gathered in Q1 to put his KTM on the front row. Whilst it has been a pretty disastrous year for Zarco, the Frenchman said that it was a nice feeling to be back up the sharp end of the field.
“It’s a nice feeling, with huge emotion just for qualifying, but I am taking it,” said the 29-year-old.
“We went through a hard time and we were still having a hard time on Friday, I was not fast and still looking for what we can do to improve this feeling. But in the wet today I did not start so well in FP3 but in the afternoon I got some improvements and I got some better feeling and I could step-by-step push.
Luckily in the afternoon it was getting dry and rain tyres on almost dry conditions I can manage quite well, since Moto2, so I took this opportunity. I think maybe the Honda was the only one to try the slicks, and I was in the box maybe ready to go with slicks, but I felt no, I cannot do it with the slicks, there’s too many patches.
“So, I tried again with the rain tyres that were used, but maybe it was a bit too dry. It’s nice things to start the second part of the second and it gives real happiness to everyone.
“On the wet anyway it’s less stress on the bike. You lean less and maybe you can we get the same problems, but you press less.
“In the dry we are struggling a lot, tomorrow we need to take this opportunity to be with the top guys. I would like to lead the race and if I do a good start maybe I can do the first lap leading for KTM that would be nice, because they need to think about the championship, I just need to think about two laps.
“So, let’s see what we can do tomorrow, but starting with the top guys will be huge information for us.”
With mixed conditions coming through Q1 has been seen as an advantage by some, already knowing where the grip is and how much you can push. When asked about this, Zarco said: “We could see the advantage in Q1, when we start with the rain tyres the track was getting even more dry on the first two laps, we were the fastest guy.
“There is a feeling that you need to take it quickly, but we did a few laps ten, fifteen minutes before, so we knew exactly the places we can push, so this was a huge help.
“It’s that lap that I did my best lap and saved this third place. When the track is changing, you’re always wondering if you can put on slick on not, in that time it was still not ready and was the ready to be as fast as possible on the rain tyres, just because we got a few laps before we knew exactly where it’s possible and where it’s not.”