Homecoming hero Johann Zarco and Team JiR head to Le Mans
Coming off the back of Johann Zarco’s sensational fourth-place finish at Estoril, the young Frenchman is now heading home to take part in this weekend’s French Grand Prix. Despite riding in front of his home crowd for the first time on his MotoBI machine, the 21-year-old insists that he feels no additional pressure, but instead he’s looking forward to continuing the progress he’s made in the previous three rounds of the Moto 2 World
Championship. Last year, in his pursuit of the 125cc title, Johann finished the race at Le Mans in fifth place.
These early rounds of the season are proceeding according to our working plan, this year Johann is expected to learn, and gain experience and the job done during winter – giving the riders the chance of riding as much as possible – is proving to have been very useful. The path ahead is still long and we don’t want to create any illusion in ourselves, concerning both Johann and the team’s other rider, the Brazilian Eric Granado, who is now facing his own battles in the Spanish Championship. To invest in young riders is always very demanding and difficult, we have found a good working relationship with Johann and I believe that in the next two years the results will become proportional to the investment. The project with Eric is even harder because of the different approach to motorcycle culture and the huge investments required to sustain such a demanding sport project in South America. For the French GP our machine will show a dedicated livery that will honour our rider’s colours and all of Johann’s personal sponsors.
I am still happy after the result at Estoril, but even though this is my home race and there may be some expectation from the French fans coming to the race, I don’t think I should move my target finishing position higher, so I’m not yet thinking about the podium. Instead I’m thinking more about following the leading riders for as long as I can in the race and learning more from them. This is how we will move forward with my understanding of
the MotoBI. I know I can learn from these guys and that it will help me pick up the pace. It is more important that I get more confidence on the MotoBI and take things step-by-step. This is the best way forward, even though I would obviously love to get a podium in my home event. So, I’m not putting any pressure on myself, I just want to improve with the MotoBI. I enjoy the layout of the track, as there are some places where you have chicanes and then there are some fast corners. Turn four is special, as you don’t see the turn until you’re on it, so it really gets the adrenalin flowing! I’m planning to enjoy the weekend and I aim to be fighting with the best Moto2 riders in the world.
The first practice sessions of the 2012 NW200 took place today with Honda TT Legends’ John McGuinness on the provisional front row for Saturday’s Superbike races. Team-mate and North West 200 newcomer Simon Andrews came 19th on the official timesheets. Despite an earlier hailstorm and intermittent showers on the 8.9 mile Northern Irish circuit, the...
A wet second Superbike practice at the North West 200 means that Tuesday’s dry lap times still stand and Honda TT Legends’ John McGuinness will start Ireland’s most famous road race from second on the grid. His team-mate and NW200 newcomer Simon Andrews will begin from 19th. After a morning of consistent rain, the Superbike...
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