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Zarco had fire worry after Germany MotoGP qualifying crash

MotoGP German Grand Prix poleman Johann Zarco admits he was worried his Pramac Ducati could have caught fire after his Q2 crash when he saw smoke coming from the bike.

Polesitter Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

The French rider snatched top spot in Q2 at the Sachsenring with just under two minutes remaining to sit on provisional pole with a 1m20.236s lap.

Pushing for a second lap, Zarco crashed at the Turn 5 left-hander, but held onto his pole as the rest of the field failed to find enough of an improvement to dethrone him.

Zarco explained that the “high emotion and high adrenaline” of the situation meant he needed time to calm himself down, with the drama of the situation only heightened when he saw smoke coming from his bike as it rested on the air fence.

“I’m pretty happy and I’m pretty surprised with the time,” he said.

“Then I tried to give a little bit more for the lap remaining, but I think too much lean angle in this Turn 5, I closed the front. Fortunately, it’s not a fast corner and I was at full leaning, so was just a slide.

“But as I say, a very high adrenaline of the very good lap time and then the focus and confidence on the bike, the crash.

“Also, the bike in the air fence, there was some smoke and I really asked the marshals to try to get the bike out as quick as possible to not have any fire.

“All of this, [I needed] a little bit of time to really get calm and get the spirit in the right area, because everything was good.”

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Zarco sits second in the points after four second-place finishes in 2021, and has the chance to put a dent in his 14-point deficit to championship leader Fabio Quartararo - who starts second.

But Pramac rider Zarco believes it would be “optimistic” to aim for victory on Sunday right now, as he is still unsure about his race pace relative to Quartararo.

“Thinking about victory right now is really optimistic, because I still have a big question mark in the race pace,” Zarco added.

“I did a big step from yesterday to this morning, so that’s nice proof of good work with the team.

“In FP4 I finished first, but that’s because I changed to a new tyre because with the used tyre I was struggling a lot.

“But it’s always helping to get information. I’m hoping tomorrow to find even another step with the team.

“It’s difficult for us but also I think it’s difficult for the other. Starting from pole will give me this advantage to have the chance not to control the race but control my tyres and see if I can be fast or not.”

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