MotoGP

Downbeat Zarco says 'we have a really big problem'

'I feel that we don’t have the pace and I’m struggling too much with my rear tyre' - Johann Zarco.
Downbeat Zarco says 'we have a really big problem'

Frenchman Johann Zarco says he is facing ‘a really big problem’ at Sepang this weekend after he struggled with the Tech 3 Yamaha in free practice on Friday.

Zarco, who was fortunate to escape injury after a huge fall at Phillip Island last weekend after colliding with the rear of Marc Marquez’s Honda, was eighth fastest on the combined times.

However, while he was able to complete a lap time that is good enough for the top 10, Zarco admits he is worried over his lack of race pace.

“It was okay on the bike and I really love this circuit in Malaysia, but I’m worried because from the first lap we were slow and we were struggling to improve the bike,” he said.

“Then, in both practices, I could do a lap time quite good to be in the top 10, but I feel that we don’t have the pace and I’m struggling too much with my rear tyre – it can be the soft, medium or hard one.

“No control of the bike and this is a really, really big problem because I don’t know if we can find a solution, because that solution will be hard to find,” Zarco added. “The temperature, the track condition – it’s always a mix of everything, but this time it doesn’t match (with the tyre).”

Zarco suffered a frightening tumble at Phillip Island but he said the incident had no bearing on his performance on the opening day of the Malaysian MotoGP round, which is the penultimate race on the calendar.

“I could not start faster because the bike was going slow this morning and I was okay,” he said. “I think it is good to be immediately on the bike the next week. I understood well, the crash.”