Johann Zarco believes he can win the opening MotoGP race of the season in Qatar.
The Frenchman led the race last year before crashing out, believes he can lead the field over the line when the season begins on Sunday.
Speaking to AutoSport, Zarco admitted that his race pace at the final test in Qatar was slower than he wanted, he knows the reasons why. With this knowledge and confidence that he can push further, the Frenchman feels victory is a possibility.
I’m happy to finish in the top, it is so great for the team, for me, giving the confidence, giving the smile and knowing we can do this good work, keeping our methods. I can improve, so I’m happy for that. When I tried to find the race pace, I’ve been a bit slow; very consistent, but too slow and we know why. We still have the race weekend to prepare a better pace, and after three days of tests I didn’t want to do mistakes. So I was maybe staying a bit too calm for this race pace. He admitted that the long-run time made it look on paper like victory was ambitious, but is certain he can improve. But being able to push at the limit and do this laptime, it means we have the potential for the victory. We just need to manage well everything.
Last year’s crash still having effect
As well as discussing this year’s chances, Zarco admitted he still thinks about last year’s race. Leading the field after 6 laps, he crashed out at turn 2 and failed to finish the race.
During this year’s test, Zarco joked that once he had completed six laps of a race simulation he relaxed a bit!