Johann Zarco explains 'unexpected' home race crash
Johann Zarco says he crashed out of his home MotoGP race at Le Mans because he “could not wait” behind the leaders out of fear of being passed by the riders behind.
The Tech3 rider delighted the home fans with pole position on Saturday after a record lap of 1:31.185s, which he later admitted left him “confused”.
Initially getting off the line poorly, Zarco recovered to second with a daring lunge up the inside of eventual race winner Marc Marquez at the Dunlop chicane.
Zarco tried to pass race leader Jorge Lorenzo, but found this “almost impossible”, and soon lost a place to Marquez on lap seven. He retaliated at the start of lap eight, but crashed at Garage Vert moments later.
He admits his keenness to not lose any more positions meant he pushed too hard into Garage Vert, and says this race will act as “a good lesson”.
“I tried to follow and overtake Lorenzo [but] was almost impossible,” Zarco, who crashed in FP4 at the same corner after a collision with Tom Luthi, said.
“I was losing too much time and I could find the pace, but it was difficult. I have to be more than 100 percent to think how to overtake him, and this made the race complicated for me.
“Marc overtook me and I could not wait behind the guys, because if not I'm [potentially] losing even more positions.
“That's why I tried immediately to catch back the second place, but then in that corner I came a bit too fast and the bike was still heavy with the fuel.
“I tried to lean to make the corner, but I crashed. I did not expect to crash, so it's a shame with this French Grand Prix, home grand prix, all the crowd screaming my name.
“But I think it's a good lesson, because I should analyse better that maybe I can have the pace, but the situation means I have to push, I have to give the best, and I think there wasn't enough margin to manage well.”
Despite losing another chance at a maiden MotoGP victory, Zarco still believes he has “more of a chance” to think about wins, though admits the pace of the Hondas and Ducatis will make achieving one difficult.
“I think I have every day more chance to think about victories,” the Tech3 rider added.
“It's difficult anyway, the Ducatis, the Hondas, Marc, they're all so strong. So maybe it's too much dream to think about victory.
“But I want to keep this mindset, because it helps me also to push myself and to keep going up.”