Zarco: Le Mans pole possible if not for Q1 strategy error

KTM MotoGP rider Johann Zarco claimed that he could have been in the mix for pole position in the qualifying session at Le Mans if not for a mistake in strategy in Q1.

Zarco: Le Mans pole possible if not for Q1 strategy error

In mixed conditions, Zarco started the first part of qualifying on wet tyres but, like many of his rivals, he pitted for slicks when he saw Valentino Rossi's tyre gamble had begun to pay off.

But then track conditions worsened after that, and Zarco rushed into the pits to go back out on wets, yet had no time left in the session to challenge for a Q2 berth, settling for fourth.

Zarco, who was a promising fifth in the wet FP3 session, will still have his best starting position since joining KTM in 14th, but he felt that he could have been not far from the pole position fight.

"It was a shame, after a long time struggling, [in] conditions that usually I can feel good, was good to play almost the pole position I think today," said Zarco. "I missed the Q2, I was really on fire inside."

"Sad, disappointed and angry immediately after Q1 because we missed the strategy. Not about the slick tyres, for sure what Valentino did was very clever, but even with the rain tyres I felt that I can go faster.

"But when I went into the box I left with the slick, I came back in then it was too late do something."

When pressed on whether he felt he would've had a shot at pole in Q2, Zarco said: "Yes, I say it because is tricky condition and I have the experience from the Moto2 and also MotoGP. When is not full rain and not dry enough for slick. I can go pretty fast.

"Just in Q1 on the first tyre I did not do everything perfect but I was quite competitive. With second rain tyre I knew it was possible to do at least qualifying in Q2 - and then, finally the laptimes we were doing [in Q1], they were also competitive for pole position [in Q2].

"Don't forget that the target is to be on top and when we have a day something is possible, you must trust and have this target."

Zarco added that in mixed conditions he was able to feel some strong points with the RC16 bike for the first time.

"It is also first time since the beginning I am on the KTM that I feel some strong point on the bike.

"This give me a smile and back good motivation to feel that what we do, it is working. 14th tomorrow and the best for the race."

shares
comments
Le Mans MotoGP: Marquez secures pole despite crashing

Previous article

Le Mans MotoGP: Marquez secures pole despite crashing

Next article

Crutchlow: "Stupid rule" deciding Q2 spots not liked by riders

Crutchlow: "Stupid rule" deciding Q2 spots not liked by riders
Load comments
Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP Prime

Why Quartararo has evolved more than Yamaha in MotoGP

Fabio Quartararo has his first match point in the 2021 MotoGP title race this weekend at Misano. While the 2021 Yamaha is a much-improved bike to its inconsistent predecessor, its the rider himself who has shown the biggest evolution this season. Oriol Puigdemont delves into Quartararo's growth.

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Prime

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022.

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result Prime

Why self-preservation was key to Marquez's COTA "dream" result

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Prime

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Prime

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”.

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future Prime

Why Misano was a pivotal race for MotoGP's present and future

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino GP will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP's present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia's flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Prime

How Ducati's Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Prime

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021