Zarco: Top 10 the "minimum" level of Honda

Johann Zarco has acknowledged that a top-10 finish in this weekend's Australian Grand Prix ought to be his "minimum" goal in his first MotoGP outing for Honda.

Zarco: Top 10 the "minimum" level of Honda

Zarco will make his first of three outings this weekend at Phillip Island on board the year-old LCR Honda bike, replacing the injured Takaaki Nakagami.

It comes after he made the shock decision to terminate his KTM contract earlier this season, and after spurning the chance to become Yamaha's full-time test rider in 2020.

Zarco said racing for LCR would be a unique chance to gain an insight into what makes factory Honda racer Marc Marquez so dominant, and to understand where his true level is after his abortive KTM adventure.

Asked if he had any pre-conceptions of what the RC213V will be like to ride, Zarco said: "No idea. Just I saw one guy that is destroying everybody [Marquez], and I want to understand why, or to learn from this.

"Let's see. For me, I know the bike can be competitive, so it will be more clear for me where my level is.

"Normally if I ride well this bike, I should be in the top 10, it's the minimum the bike can do I think. I have to be clever to bring the bike at this level."

Read Also:

Marquez himself backed Zarco to score a top 10 on his Honda debut.

“The top 10 for Zarco would be a good goal," said the Spaniard. "This is a situation in his career in which he must show himself to make it clear that he deserves a second chance. 

"A very difficult weekend awaits Zarco, but I think he can manage to be among the top 10."  

Upon the announcement of his LCR deal, Zarco said that joining the Honda camp, even temporarily, had effectively ended his chances of becoming a Yamaha test rider.

He also suggested that a return to Moto2 would now be his preferred option in 2020, despite having initially favoured a test deal incorporating wildcards.

Asked if any chance of staying in MotoGP in a test rider capacity has now gone, Zarco replied: "Never say never, but I want to be a top rider. To be a top rider you need to race. Even when you race in Moto2 you keep this feeling inside you.

"We can see what Fabio [Quartararo] is doing, and I remember when I came to MotoGP, I had no experience in the class but I did well. The racing mood was there."

He added: "The [rider] market will be open again in 2021, and it will open early. That can be an option [to return to MotoGP after a year in Moto2].

"But at the moment my future is a few races [long], that's all."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

Read Also:

Johann Zarco, Team LCR Honda

Johann Zarco, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Oliveira made to feel "not worthy" by KTM's 2020 decision
Previous article

Oliveira made to feel "not worthy" by KTM's 2020 decision

Next article

KTM explains why Oliveira missed factory promotion

KTM explains why Oliveira missed factory promotion
Load comments
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022
How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention Prime

How ‘Beast’ mode is putting Ducati in 2022 MotoGP title contention

Enea Bastianini’s second win of the 2022 campaign at COTA puts him back in the lead of the standings and once again showed the best Ducati package is still the 2021 bike. Those closest to Bastianini tell Motorsport.com why he’s so good on the GP21 relative to his factory counterparts.

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2022
How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag Prime

How Espargaro helped Aprilia shed MotoGP's underdog tag

Aleix Espargaro became MotoGP's newest winner in a thrilling Argentina Grand Prix in which he also proved the merits of the Aprilia project. After six years of hard graft, both parties have reaped the rewards they have long thought they deserved. But it was several key moments in that journey that led both to that momentous Sunday at Termas de Rio Hondo.

MotoGP
Apr 4, 2022