Johann Zarco: “I will continue fighting for victories”

Zarco, Moto2, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

Zarco, Moto2, Catalunya MotoGP 2015

Ajo Motorsport rider wants to extend 65-point championship advantage with great results at every race in the second half of the season.

Johann Zarco is having the best season of his career. The Ajo Motorsport rider is the Moto2 championship leader with a 65-point lead over his nearest rival, and has managed to place on the podium at 8 of the 9 races so far, in which he has managed 3 wins.

In his fourth season in the intermediate category, the Frenchman is proving to be an ambitious and winning rider. His feeling onboard the Kalex is unbeatable and the Frenchman is a strong candidate to become the new Moto2 World Champion.

Despite the great points gap separating him from his pursuers, the rider from Cannes is cautious and says that he will continue to fight for victories –just as he has done in the first half of the season.

Are you surprised at the great season that you’re having?
“I can’t say I’m surprised, but I’m happy because we’ve reached the summer break with a 65 point advantage, and that’s incredible. Moreover, in the last race I had some luck and Tito Rabat fell on the last lap. Now it’s time to enjoy ourselves without thinking that all our work has been done, because it has not. There’s a long way to go and anything can happen.”

What are your feelings after finishing the first half of the season?
“I am very happy with the performance of the bike. I have a good feeling and the team have improved a lot. They have given me a good bike, they help me to always be fighting for wins, and that’s very important when you want to compete for the world title. I would like to maintain this level in the second half of the season. I’m ready to continue adding victories and good results.”

What has been your best performance in the first 9 Grands Prix?
“In the first half I achieved 3 wins, but I especially remember the race in Jerez in which I started from ninth and managed to finish second -it was like a victory. It was very exciting! Also, I managed to win in Argentina, Catalonia and Assen, but I couldn’t say which was better because in all three wins I had a great feeling. This first half of the season has been spectacular and we must work to maintain the same level.”

You always thank the team for making you competitive at tracks where previously you struggled. What help do the team give you?
“I always use my experience and they give me the pleasure of riding a motorcycle with which I feel very secure and able to push. Last year I learned a lot and this year I’m enjoying things. That’s fantastic. My team manager Aki Ajo knows many things about the championship and is always there to give me good advice. I have a lot of contact with him and always try to listen to his advice. I have very good relationship with the team and I feel that help me a lot. For this reason, I always insist on highlighting the important role they have.”

“I do not usually think much about what can be improved, but in this situation the most important part of my job is to stay calm”

You have 8 podiums from 9 races. Only a mechanical error left you off the podium. Is there something that you can improve in the second half of the season?
“I will try to be faster. I do not usually think much about what can be improved, but in this situation the most important part of my job is to stay calm. I try to never be nervous and keep calm. That is something I am working on every day.”

You are 9 races from the end of the season. Do you think that is precipitated to think about the world title and ride conservatively?
“The goal is still to win. A winning mentality is very important if you want to do a good job during the weekend and be ready for the race. Of course, I must be smart in the remaining races and try not to make mistakes or crash. I will keep fighting for wins and I will have to be thinking about the title without taking many risks and control the situation. You can think of the World Championship closer to the end of the season, but not at the beginning of this second half.”

How about the circuits that make up the second half of the championship?
“We’ll start back at Indianapolis, a circuit at which I don’t usually get good results -although I think this year I can do well with this bike. Then we will go to Brno -which is a spectacular circuit. Next it’s on to Silverstone and then Misano, which I really like. I think I can be stronger than my rivals over the next few races.”

How do you imagine the second half of the season going?
“I will try to maintain or increase the advantage as much as possible. I must be calm and not get nervous. I should not think that everything is done, as there is a lot of work to do and the other guys will not let me get away, so I must show caution.”

What plans do you have for the summer break?
“I will not have much time to rest. The first week off I went to visit family. In recent days I’m accompanying the son of my manager in the Catalan Championship, to try to help in any way I can –just as his father does with me. Next week I will be back on the bike and training, as this doesn’t stop.”