LCR Honda stand-in Johann Zarco fought his way to 13th place and third RC213V home on his return to the MotoGP class at Phillip Island but still finished in front of works rider Jorge Lorenzo.
The Frenchman, who is subbing for Taka Nagagami until the end of the season, apologised to the team for being so far off the pace but was told not to worry, and that Sepang will be a different game.
“I’m thankful for this opportunity first of all. Honda told me, no illusions about the future, take this race and enjoy it. And me, I’m taking this race and I am even checking options for my future, speaking with other teams in Moto2. Why not?” said Zarco, speaking at the track.
“But I said to Alberto, sorry that the first two guys are Hondas, and me, I am on Honda but I am on the back of the classification. So I say sorry. But he said no, don’t worry, Malaysia will be different.
“And as I say, it’s true that here I had to relearn so many things that it will be like too easy if I could fight with Cal in the first race. So thank you to him, because for me I feel that it’s not super good, and if they are quite satisfied about the work, it’s just positive for me.”
“The team also is quite happy. I could have a good fighting spirit and try the best, and the good thing is what I was feeling on the bike.
I didn’t get a worse feeling, the feeling remained very constant from the beginning to the end of the race, only in acceleration it was difficult to control the drive. Maybe I used too much the tyre or not, because Marc is winning with a soft one, so it means the soft was a good tyre.
“And overall he won by 11 seconds to second place. So something is possible to manage, but I’m still not able to do it. I feel things on the bike that I’m going to work on to be able to control this bike better, and I have to be happy.
“And I had to relearn all of that, 185mph, fight with the guys, and keep a pace, do the 27 laps, and have the confidence into the corner everywhere. So good work, and it’s normal to be unhappy. It’s normal to be unhappy, but thinking about where I’m coming from, I can enjoy the result today.”