Zarco believes Pedrosa's KTM MotoGP input will end his "suffering"

KTM MotoGP rider Johann Zarco says the similarities between his feedback and that of test rider Dani Pedrosa have come as a boost after "six months of suffering"

Zarco believes Pedrosa's KTM MotoGP input will end his "suffering"

Beleaguered Tech3 Yamaha convert Zarco has found it difficult to get to grips with the KTM bike, and has been regularly outqualified and outraced by team-mate Pol Espargaro since joining the team for 2019.

Zarco's public dissatisfaction with the RC16 has led to tensions within the team, which culminated in him being admonished by CEO Stefan Pierer - who said his rider's struggles were of a mental nature.

But with former Honda star Pedrosa having begun testing the RC16 again after a long spell out with injury, Zarco says he has been boosted by the three-time MotoGP world championship runner-up's comments - as he believes it will give more stock to his own feedback.

"It helps me that these comments now are taken in consideration much more than before," Zarco said in the lead-up to this weekend's Assen round.

"Because the doubt before was if I say something, then we are thinking that I want to make a Yamaha bike.

"But I just want to make a good bike. And when Dani was telling the same [as me], it was great because he never rode the Yamaha, so it means that my comments were on the target to make a better bike but not make a Yamaha bike."

When it was pointed out to Zarco that he was smiling as he described Pedrosa's input, he agreed and said that was "because it's been maybe six months of suffering. Now I hope that I will breathe a little bit more."

Zarco, who recorded the best finish of his KTM tenure so far with 10th place at Barcelona, rode the bike in the official post-race test and a subsequent private test day during the same week.

"Comparing the test I did in Jerez at the beginning of the season, it was the same plan - full race weekend plus Monday and Wednesday, I was quite tired because I was always fighting with the bike," Zarco recalled.

"In Barcelona I got a better lap time and was able to keep also good energy till the end of the Wednesday, so these are kind of positive points that [help me] find consistency, and keeping the energy, and I think it's a key to make a good base of the bike, then go up."

Team-mate Espargaro was sidelined for the private test day after crashing on Monday, but said this was mitigated by having Pedrosa available.

"Imagine if I couldn't test on Wednesday and just Johann tested on Wednesday. We trust a lot in Johann, but the amount of info is half," Espargaro said.

"So having Dani there, especially for the project - maybe not for now, for the moment - but for the project what Dani was testing was very important, and for future of the company.

"So it was good to be a little bit outside as well. I didn't like that, but it was good to check what was going on not riding the bike."

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About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Dani Pedrosa , Johann Zarco
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Mark Bremer
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