Zarco forced to "make up for lost time" in 2020 MotoGP season

Incoming Pramac Ducati MotoGP rider Johann Zarco says he was forced to "make up for lost time" in 2020, which he links to his "inconsistent" campaign with Esponsorama Racing

Zarco forced to "make up for lost time" in 2020 MotoGP season

Zarco signed directly to Ducati to join Esponsorama Racing (formerly Avintia) for 2020, having walked away from his two-year KTM factory deal following a tough opening half of 2019.

Initially against the move, Zarco would take the satellite GP19 to a pole position at the Czech Grand Prix and recover from a long lap penalty to take third in the race.

His form proved inconsistent for the rest of the campaign, the double Moto2 world champion ending the year 13th in the standings and fourth-best Ducati rider.

But Zarco feels the fact he missed four days of testing on the Ducati last November meant the speeded up adaptation to the bike caused him to be "often above my limit", contributing to his mixed form.

"I had some things to catch up and to understand again to be at the top level, and I am happy to have been able to identify them with Ducati and that motivates me to do more next year," Zarco said in a French GP press conference recently.

PLUS: How Ducati rebuilt Zarco into a factory MotoGP rider

"If I think purely about the championship, it has been a bit inconsistent for me.

"But in my opinion, the fact that I had to make up for lost time has forced me to be often above my limit and therefore to make some mistakes.

"But they are mistakes that allow me to learn from a year where in the end what I had to play for was to bounce back, that's what was most important".

Zarco will return to being a factory-backed rider in 2021 with Pramac and will race the same spec machinery as works team duo Jack Miller and Francesco Bagnaia.

Having secured this move in September, Zarco says he used the remaining rounds of 2020 as something of a test in preparation for next year.

"Since Misano, I say it's all positive because the main challenge to get back at the top level and have a bike for next year and a competitive bike," he said last month.

"So, the main target was done [at Misano] and I almost take the races since Le Mans, or since Aragon, really as a test for next year.

"So, that is giving me, not an advantage because we can see in the [Valencia] race I did not finish and I expected I could fight for the podium, but I crashed before.

"But at least it's always taking a lesson and not paying too much the price in these crashes, because in the championship I know I don't have big things to win or lose at the moment.

"So, I'm happy I've found the stability and the way again to perform, to have the performance to work on the bike, work on me.

"I think I have all the things, I cannot say under control, but we can work."

shares
comments
How Ducati rebuilt Zarco into a factory MotoGP rider

Previous article

How Ducati rebuilt Zarco into a factory MotoGP rider

Next article

MotoGP champion Lorenzo finalist on Spain's Masked Singer talent show

MotoGP champion Lorenzo finalist on Spain's Masked Singer talent show
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Johann Zarco
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Lewis Duncan
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021