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MotoGP form man Martin ‘in a bubble’, says team-mate Zarco

Johann Zarco says he finds it difficult to explain the form of Pramac Ducati MotoGP team-mate Jorge Martin in recent races, describing the Spaniard as being “in a bubble”.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing, Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Martin has slashed long-time championship leader Francesco Bagnaia’s advantage to just three points following his victories in both the sprint and main race of the Japanese Grand Prix weekend at Motegi, giving him five wins in the last six races.

Zarco’ lacked Martin’s record-breaking one-lap speed in qualifying in Japan and was unable to finish higher than fifth in the sprint from 10th on the grid.

Speaking after that race, the French rider was at a loss to pinpoint exactly what Martin is doing better, although he highlighted the importance of being able to make the most of the Ducati’s strong point of braking around the stop-and-go Motegi layout.

“He is in a bubble now,” said Zarco of Martin. “Everything he is doing is working well. When a rider ‘touches’ this, you cannot explain what he is doing better.

“He is just doing what he loves to do in the way he wants, and everything works. You can say he feels good on the brakes and so on.

“The brakes are the strong point of the Ducati, so when you are able to use it, you can destroy everyone, as Pecco [Bagnaia] did [before] and as Bezzecchi did when everything was going right.

“Martin is doing it, plus also his style with the corner speed… everything works. Even when he chose the wrong tyre in India, he was still second.”

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Zarco insists that he is not applying any pressure on himself to win a race before he departs Ducati for Honda next season.

The French rider says he believes he will have chances to win even when he trades in his Desmosedici GP23 for a RC213V in 2024, having signed to join the satellite LCR team in place of Yamaha-bound Alex Rins.

“There’s no pressure, and I believe I can arrive at Honda at a good time,” he said.

“I was happy to see the performance of Marquez and Mir [in India], it means they still have a good capacity to adapt and set up the bike.

“Maybe it will be a good surprise that I can adapt well and have a chance of victory even in the future.”

Asked by Autosport whether he saw any of the remaining circuits as a prime target to score a long-awaited first MotoGP win, Zarco replied: “I don’t think about which track will give me more chances than another one.

“Everything is so close that anything can happen. Also the weather conditions can change and this is also a way to catch opportunities sometimes.

“Maybe the least chance is Valencia, so I want to have my chances [before then].”

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