Bayle on Zarco move: Talk, exchange, decide

Former racer Jean-Michel Bayle opens up on new role as Johann Zarco’s advisor: “Many times the best solution is to stay calm and try to take the good decision ... a smart decision.”
Bayle on Zarco move: Talk, exchange, decide

Jean-Michel Bayle has given some details on his new role as Johann Zarco’s advisor, stating riders at this level need a confidant “to talk to, to exchange, to make decisions.”

The ex-motocross world champion was brought in after Zarco’s difficult start to life as a KTM factory rider. In four races the double Moto2 world champion has finished no higher than 13th.

And Bayle explained his new role is more “general” than simply being just a rider coach, or offering up riding advice. He will also encourage Zarco to “stay calm” and “try to take the good … smart decision.”

“When you are racing it’s always some good and some bad moments,” said Bayle on Thursday. “It can come from many different things. You have always to try to think about how it can get better in the future.

“Many times the best solution is to stay calm and try to take the good decision and to make a smart decision. The smart decision is not always on the moment. It’s always a little bit later.

“Of course it’s part of the racing to have this kind of feeling, but sometimes also you have to think about how to fix the problem. Sometimes it’s better to have a different view and a little bit more far view than what you have now.”

At the close of the Spanish Grand Prix Zarco revealed he had already been exchanging messages with his countryman in a bid to handle the stress of an expectant factory awaiting his lead.

“We just talked about racing, about my career and his career,” said Bayle of those recent exchanges. “We have changed a lot of things. After he finished the season and he started this season with KTM. He called me a month ago, and we spoke again. We decide to go together.

“It’s not something specific. It’s more general. Racing is not always easy. It’s many times up and down. Sometimes you need to have somebody to talk to, to exchange, to make decisions. We have a good relationship together. We have a lot of respect, so we can talk very easy about everything.

“Your reference can be positive and your reference can be negative. But the situation is like it is today. Johann has to work on everything, to improve everything.

“For sure, the bike, KTM, he needs to improve his bike. Johann needs to improve the bike like he wants. Johann needs to improve also to ride the bike like he is. It’s a combination. It’s not only one thing. It’s a combination.

“But for sure, it’s a different season. It’s a completely different thing around him, so sometimes you have to do something like that to get better in the future.”

Has he had a chance toe evaluate what is missing from Zarco’s current approach?

“It’s difficult to say,” he said. “What I am sure is that everything was quite right because he’s already two-time world champion in Moto2. So racing and your career are some moments you leave some people.

“For the moment you need something different. You just have to move because your goals are changing in your career. So you have to move everything else around you.

“Sometimes you have to deal with this kind of thing, change people around you to go to the next step. I think right now he’s in this kind of movement.”

Zarco also explained his decision to recruit the two-time 500cc pole sitter on Thursday. “So after Jerez has been the news that I'm working with Jean-Michel Bayle,” he began.

“The ex-rider that everybody knows pretty well. I contacted him already last year, we were speaking a little bit but it was necessary to take the time for me to see what I need. I was always followed very closely from my ex-coach, so this technical support and the mental side, to get free and don’t think on the bike, just go.

“Now the last 5 months, with all the things I've had to go through, was quite hard and anyway I've learnt a lot. Now sharing this experience with Jean-Michel I can see that we have things to work on myself that will anyway help to work with the team.

“So we are going to see how I will work on the weekend, but the most important thing is to keep in mind what is the mission, what is the job to do and when we are in the race weekend really do the best as possible just as a rider. Not as a technician rider or test rider. But as a race rider.

“Already on some training we’ve got good results. I can see that when I get this free mind I’m immediately getting faster, so I want to have this free mind also on the race weekend even when I have the difficulty time with the bike.

"So that’s the target with Jean-Michel, to bring some more freedom in the brain, to get just pure performance from me, even if it's not for winning yet.”