Australian MotoGP: Johann Zarco: ‘Problem on the start, full tank, could not bring the bike anywhere’ | MotoGP

Zarco, who at one stage was the fastest rider on circuit, managed to claw his way back into the lead group before battling the likes of MotoGP title contender Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder, which ultimately cost the trio any chance of fighting for the podium.

Starting sixth after dominating free practice, Zarco immediately went backwards as he struggled on the first three laps.

Zarco wasn’t the only Ducati rider to suffer a poor start as Francesco Bagnaia also lost places after failing to deploy the holeshot device.

But unlike Bagnaia’s starting problem, Zarco’s issues went on for much longer which led to him riding the remainder of the race flat out.

Zarco told “I got a problem on the start, plus the first corners on the full tank, I couldn’t bring the bike anywhere. It was pretty hard to ride the bike and I could see that the others were having really high confidence.

“It was pretty hard to fight and I lost too many positions. But after three laps the others began to get a few problems and then I could start my race and come back to the first group.

“That was amazing and it was pretty intense to try and go almost every lap. Also to overtake many riders.

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“Then being with the front group I had to fight with Aleix Espargaro and Brad Binder, also a bit with Bastianini – it was nice but clearly with four laps to the end we have lost the contact to the top six with this fight. I had to finish in eighth position.”

0.8 seconds from the win ‘killing me’ – Martin

Zarco’s team-mate Jorge Martin was a contender for victory for much of the race as he led the early stages from pole position.

But while Zarco got stronger, Martin began to fade compared to the likes of Bagnaia, Marc Marquez and eventual race winner Alex Rins.

Although Martin still had good pace and finished within a second of the win, the Spaniard felt he needed to be more aggressive, while also citing a lack of front grip as a reason why he could not fight for the win.

Martin added: “It’s a pity that I didn’t have extra in braking [zones] to fight for the victory because you know, 0.8 [seconds] from the victory is killing me today.

“I was super close, I was competitive, I was fast and the first part of the race I was managing a lot of the tires to have a good tire at the end.

“I had a good rear tire but with the front I was struggling. It’s a pity but we need to improve our fighting. We have the speed.”