Newly acquired LCR Honda stand in MotoGP rider Johann Zarco said that he is looking to get back to his ‘previous level’ as the Frenchman enjoyed his first day the notoriously difficult RC213V in Phillip Island.
Standing in for the Taka Nakagami over the final three races of 2019, Zarco ended the first day of free practice in fifteenth fastest overall, only 1.617 seconds behind fastest man Maverick Vinales, and only 1.020 seconds behind reigning World Champion Marc Marquez on the same bike.
With rain in FP1, Zarco admitted it was difficult to get an understanding, or build confidence, in the wet morning session.
“It wasn’t easy to understand the bike in the wet during FP1,” said the former KTM man.
“It was a useful session anyway as I was able to start building confidence with the bike, also because the pace wasn’t particularly quick. With the low temperatures I was quite nervous but not particularly slow. From there I was able to build confidence and start to push.”
Without any tests, it was Zarco’s first taste of the RC213V, and when he was asked his thoughts on the bike, the Frenchman said: “It was very slow through the turns. Corner speed is fundamental at this track.
“As you know, I started well back but in the final twenty minutes I showed better pace.The aim is to find confidence with the bike and at the same time, try to get back to my previous level.
“I might be a good rider, a fast rider, but there is a difference between being a good rider and a top rider.”