Johann Zarco says he was surprised to crash out from the British Grand Prix MotoGP encounter while leading as he reckons he “wasn’t pushing too much.”
The Pramac Ducati rider made a strong start from pole at Silverstone to lead the opening few circulations, fending off a charging Fabio Quartararo before the Yamaha rider peeled off to serve a long-lap penalty.
Looking to finally end a 96-race wait for a maiden MotoGP victory, Zarco looked to bat off the advances of factory Ducati rider Jack Miller and Suzuki’s Alex Rins before disaster struck at Village on the fourth tour, the two-time Moto2 world champion losing the front of his machine on entry to the slow left-hander.
The Frenchman’s race came to an early end as a result, a slip that left Zarco surprised as he feels he “wasn’t pushing too much”, though conceded that he felt “limited” front-end grip when trying to push with the medium-compound front tyre.
“I wasn’t pushing too much before the crash, the medium front for me was not the best choice because I could start pretty well but when I wanted to keep some pace the front grip was limited,” explained Zarco.
“Today the temperatures were much higher and I was worried about the soft front for the race distance, and we know the medium front quite well so that’s why I was confident to take it.
“Pecco (Bagnaia) won with the medium front, but I am happy with the good start and I had a pretty good feeling, it was good for me but clearly it’s difficult to put everything together to get the victory but at least I could learn more and get a better feeling so that we can be strong again next race.
“It’s hard to say (whether opportunity missed) but I got a good pace and leading the race was proof that the speed was there, but we need to turn the page and it was good at least to have strong pace after the summer break.”
Zarco was keen to remain positive following his Silverstone disappointment, insisting that he had managed to make “a small step forward” with his Desmosedici, and that he wouldn’t be “thinking too much” about the crash ahead of the Austrian GP in two weeks time.
“The energy was great and I think I made a small step forward with the Ducati, which is a nice positive for the rest of the season,” continued Zarco.
“There’s no point thinking too much, I just need to keep trying and believe that it will come, there is no strategy or things to think about.”