Zarco: Repsol Honda call-up would be "exceptional dream"

Johann Zarco says a 2020 Repsol Honda MotoGP call-up in light of Jorge Lorenzo’s retirement would be “an exceptional dream”, but insists he would be happy with an LCR ride as well.

Zarco: Repsol Honda call-up would be "exceptional dream"

Zarco, who has impressed as LCR’s stand-in for Takaaki Nakagami in the last two races following an ignominious end to his short tenure at KTM, appears the obvious candidate to join next year’s MotoGP grid now that a ride has been vacated by Lorenzo.

Yet given Zarco’s limited experience with the RC213V it stands to reason Honda may yet prefer LCR veteran Cal Crutchlow or even his teammate – homegrown Honda protege Takaaki Nakagami – to fill the seat alongside Marquez at the Repsol-backed factory team.

Zarco acknowledged Lorenzo’s retirement decision was “kind of a positive for me next year”, adding: “It means there's a place getting free for 2020 season - where, I don't know, but somewhere it's a free place. And that's a chance for me to ride next year.

“I'm just thinking about this, it's giving me the smile, because since August I didn't know what I can do for next year, I still don't know now, but now on paper there is a possibility.”

Read Also:

Although he praised LCR as “a super team”, Zarco said it was “logical” for him to favour a factory call-up, and insisted he would relish the chance to go up against Marquez.

“I'm discovering a super team with Lucio Cecchinello, on a good bike too,” he said. “It's all a bonus where[ever] I can be.

“For sure the Repsol Honda team is the best one, it's the factory team, and just from that it would be like an exceptional dream to catch in this complicated season.”

Zarco admitted that Crutchlow, who has been Honda’s second-best rider by a comfortable margin these past two seasons despite riding for an independent team, has a stronger case for a factory call-up.

The Briton, whose switch to Repsol would in theory be complicated by a clash between the team’s sponsor Red Bull and Crutchlow’s own ties with Monster, remains tight-lipped on the prospect of replacing Lorenzo.

He did stress, however, that he and Zarco were in “completely different situations”, adding: “Johann’s a great rider, a great rider, he’s won world championships. But he also quit [KTM] this year. Let’s not lose sight of that, and that’s not me having a go.

“I think Johann is a great rider, I think he’s done himself proud in riding the Honda in the way he has the last two races. But we’ll see.

“These last three grands prix are some of his best circuits. The Honda is good at the circuits he’s been to, and that’s the story. Nothing to do with me.”

Asked for his part if he felt he’d done enough at Phillip Island and Sepang to warrant a Repsol ride, Zarco said: “Looking in the Australian race, for sure not. I was not in the correct group to show good signs for Honda.

“And I say to them 'sorry'. And they told me 'don't worry, Phillip Island track is complicated, plus the [weather] conditions, take it easy and do better in Malaysia'.

“In Malaysia I caught this better group. Not the top group but from the back I went back in the middle group and this was already a sign of building things correctly.”

shares
comments
Lorenzo sorry to have "disappointed" Honda and Puig

Previous article

Lorenzo sorry to have "disappointed" Honda and Puig

Next article

Lorenzo's retirement a "sad day" for MotoGP - Crutchlow

Lorenzo's retirement a "sad day" for MotoGP - Crutchlow
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Johann Zarco , Jorge Lorenzo
Teams Repsol Honda Team , Team LCR
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Prime

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so.

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Prime

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Prime

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

MotoGP
Apr 20, 2021
How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021