Johann Zarco says he is 'fighting' his KTM bike instead of other riders

Johann Zarco says he is “fighting more” with his KTM than he is with other riders, after struggling to a lowly 14th in the MotoGP Spanish Grand Prix. 

Zarco has found adapting to the KTM in 2019 a difficult task so far, with the French rider yet to crack the top 10 while team-mate Pol Espargaro has done so twice from the first four races. 

Coming from 18th, Zarco followed Espargaro home in 14th at Jerez, but admitted it was “not possible” to overtake anyone as he was “losing a lot on acceleration”, and says it is a “pity” his only realistic target is to simply finish each race.

“I wanted to overtake more riders, but was not possible for me,” said Zarco.

“Really I've been too much on the limit in the race, losing a lot on acceleration. When you lose on acceleration, it becomes complicated to overtake riders on the brakes because I'm always a bit too far to try something. 

“But I could keep some pace and I had some overtaking with Pol. But then he took good pace and I could follow him more than half race. 

“Then I lost a little bit the gap, but I was staying focused to finish the race because at the moment it's the only thing I can go for as a target. 

“It's a pity to have the target to just finish the race, but I'm still fighting more with the bike than the others.”

Pit board error costs Espargaro

Team-mate Espargaro had been on course to beat Honda's Jorge Lorenzo to 12th at Jerez, but he misread the number of laps left on his pit board and backed off too early. 

Espargaro branded his error as “one of the biggest mistakes of my career”, but says he was “so on the limit” that he “couldn't see anything else”.

“I didn't have a very good race,” Espargaro admitted. 

“From the beginning I struggled a little with the grip, always we have less grip in the race. But then, by the middle of the race I was starting to catch Lorenzo and I was suffering a lot because I had not so much remaining. 

“Once I arrived at Lorenzo I could overtake him, but I misread the [pit] board. Instead of three laps, I saw two laps remaining and I stop before the end of the race. 

“Lorenzo overtook me again. It was one of the biggest mistakes in my career, but I was so focused and I was so on the limit, I couldn't see anything else. 

“I was so focused not lose and let Jorge overtake me, we lose one position. Anyway, 18s to the front is not bad.”