Zarco: Qualifying behind injured Rossi brings "shame"

Tech 3 Yamaha rider Johann Zarco says everyone who qualified behind the injured Valentino Rossi in Aragon, including himself, has to accept "shame".

Zarco: Qualifying behind injured Rossi brings "shame"
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Johann Zarco, Monster Yamaha Tech 3
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Third place Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Rossi qualified on the front row for MotoGP's Aragon Grand Prix, taking third behind Maverick Vinales and Jorge Lorenzo just 23 days after breaking his leg in a training accident.

Zarco hailed his factory Yamaha stablemate's effort, calling him a "genius", but adding he is a "bit angry" for being beaten by an injured rider.

"I said on Thursday that it would be a shame on all people behind him," said Zarco, who qualified 11th after battling through Q1.

"I accept [the shame], that is why I can be disappointed and a bit angry because it is not normal that he is in front.

"It means he is like a genius, a clever rider and so good. He knows how to push, when to push, and he knows how to set up the bike, or so does his team.

"He is doing good things, and just before the start I say him respect, because for me, I am in better form [physically] than him and he is in front of me, so [it is] necessary to work on things."

Crutchlow hails Rossi's "fantastic" lap

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who was fourth, joined Zarco in praising Rossi, even though the Briton expected the 38-year-old to be competitive.

"I saw him this morning, it takes him more time to get up to speed, sure, but in qualifying he f***ing did a fantastic lap and all weekend he has been fast," said Crutchlow.

"Honestly, I didn't expect him to be any different, I expected him to be fast all weekend, I expect him to challenge for a podium tomorrow. He is not gonna just come here and cruise around.

However, the Briton was unsure how much the injury is affecting Rossi.

"It is hard to say because I've never done it. Does he feel pain, does he ride any different? I think you can just change your mind and you want go as fast as possible.

"There is going be a new craze and everyone will try to break their leg now so they could come back faster," he joked.

Additional reporting by Jamie Klein and William Zinck

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