Two-time Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco said he would consider returning to Moto2 if he cannot stay with Honda, also calling Avintia not a top team, amid rumours the Frenchman was set to stay in MotoGP with the satellite Ducati outfit.
Following Jorge Lorenzo’s shock MotoGP retirement, a factory Honda seat has suddenly become open. Following his impressive stint deputising for the injured Taka Nakagami in the LCR Honda team, Zarco found himself on a list of potential replacements for the outgoing Spaniard.
Rumours started circulating early on Saturday that Honda had instead elected to go with Moto2 World Champion Alex Marquez to partner Marc Marquez, rather than Zarco, with the Frenchman instead moving to Avintia Ducati.
Speaking after qualifying, Zarco downplayed these rumours, insisting he wants to stay in a top team in MotoGP, and that he doesn’t consider Avintia as a top team.
“What can I tell you, I don’t know anything,” said the Frenchman.
“I want to stay in MotoGP, but with a good bike, and a top-level team and Avintia is not. At this point, I might think about returning to Moto2 if I can’t stay with Honda.
“Claude Michy is helping me. He’s the promoter for the Le Mans Grand Prix. He knows what I want, but the situation is not in my hands. Honda has to decide.”
When commenting on his qualifying performance, Zarco admitted that he is disappointed with his qualifying, starting on the fifth row in thirteenth after failing to make it out of Q1.
“I’m a bit disappointed with my thirteenth position in qualifying,” he said.
“I had a stupid fall in FP4 and lost confidence and time. The faster you go on the Honda, the better you feel, but it’s not easy to reach certain levels in a short time.
“I improved in qualifying, but not enough to get through to Q2. I’ve always said my goal is to be in the top give and I can reach it if I do everything right.”