[Video] Johann Zarco: “The feeling with the 2016 bike is very positive”

24/02/2016

Reigning World Champion Moto2 Johann Zarco talks about his preseason so far.

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A week before the first official Moto2 test of the year at Jerez, Johann Zarco talks about his first preseason as World Champion. The Frenchman wants to become the first rider in history to retain the Moto2 title, and faces 2016 more motivated than ever. After a first encounter with the Kalex bike for 2016 in private tests at Valencia and Jerez, Zarco is ready and confident to continue on the path that earned him so much success last year with Ajo Motorsport.

Before the private tests in early February, there was a two-month winter break. What did you do during this period?
“After the last race in Valencia, we did just one test with the team. After that, I had a lot of events with our sponsors and went to motorshows in Italy, England and France –the normal things after winning a title. Meeting the fans is always very nice. In mid-December I took a few days holiday to relax. Perhaps I took a somewhat longer break than previous years, but I needed it. After that, I came back more motivated than ever for both my fitness training and work on the bike.”

What is your training plan?
“I prefer to train on asphalt, with a 600cc –a bike that is quite similar to a Moto2 machine. The engine is virtually the same, so you can work very well. But it is not enough to do just that, so you have to look for other disciplines to try in order disconnect a little. I don’t like motocross because I find it dangerous, but I do like dirt track –where you can play around with acceleration and your riding style.”

Where have you been training?
“When I train with the 600cc in winter I have to go down to Cartagena in southern Spain, Almeria and Valencia. It’s where you can enjoy the best weather for longer hours, and where it is safest to ride.”

Has anything changed with preseason this year compared to the previous ones?
“I have followed the same training schedule as last season, because it worked out well for me before. Now I have even more experience, so I have tried to ride as relaxed as possible –which is how races are won.”

After the first test, what do you think about the new Kalex for 2016?
“Last year I enjoyed riding the bike and the feeling was very good in all aspects. In November, we saw that with the new chassis I felt almost exactly the same –maybe even a little better. I can’t say what has changed, because it is very difficult to explain; there are so many small things, but overall the feeling has been very positive from the start. The most important thing is that you feel good. When you get that, you can push as much as you like.”

After becoming World Champion, have you noticed that people in France recognise you more?
“People do ask me more for autographs, but I can still walk the streets without being recognised because not many people watch racing on TV. I hope that if I can win more races this year, people will talk more about racing and the fanbase will grow.”

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