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Motorcycles Zarco: MotoGP points lead "not redemption" for KTM nadir

13:25  05 april  2021
13:25  05 april  2021 Source:   msn.com

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  2021 KTM 890 Duke First Look Preview KTM offers a lower-spec version of the 890 Duke for 2021.The bump to 889cc increased horsepower by 10, which doesn’t sound like a raging stable till you recall that the bike weighs less than an Air Jordan.

Pramac’s Johann Zarco leads the MotoGP standings following the Doha Grand Prix, but doesn’t consider this any form of “redemption” following his near career-ending KTM nadir in 2019.

a person wearing a hat: Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing

Zarco was signed to KTM from Tech 3 Yamaha in 2019 in a move that was expected to see him fight for race wins and the title with the Austrian marque.

But he endured a miserable part-campaign with the marque, terminating his two-year contract following the Austrian GP before KTM dropped him with immediate effect following the San Marino GP.

The French rider came close to a return to Moto2 in 2020 having passed over an Avintia ride in MotoGP, before Ducati was able to convince him to join its satellite squad.

2021 KTM 450 SMR

  2021 KTM 450 SMR KTM’s closed-course supermoto weaponFinely tuned supermoto performance available at the dealership

After scoring a podium at Brno last year, Zarco was promoted to factory status again for 2021 with Pramac on current-spec Ducatis, and scored back-to-back second place finishes in Qatar to take a four-point lead in the championship.

Asked if he saw this as redemption after his decline at KTM, he said: “What happened two years ago, it’s a part of life. I took some decisions, I’m pretty happy now that I’m back with the top guys and enjoying.

“The first two races I had a lot of fun and it’s such a nice feeling to control it. So, I don’t think – and it’s not the time to think – about redemption.

“You just live your time and right now it’s this moment with Pramac and Ducati, and what I decided two years ago is done.

“So, I’m happy. I cannot say if I took the right decision or not. I took a decision in my way and thanks to Ducati I’m here.”

2021 KTM 450 SMR

  2021 KTM 450 SMR KTM’s closed-course supermoto weaponFinely tuned supermoto performance available at the dealership

Zarco felt he could have challenged Yamaha’s Fabio Quartararo for victory in Sunday’s race, but admits Pramac teammate Jorge Martin was going “too fast” to overtake easily and settled on securing runner-up spot.

“With Jorge leading the race I expected to have a slower pace than last week because he’s a rookie and maybe he will get some stress, and finally we went faster because after half race compared to Pecco [Bagnaia] he was keeping the pace in 1m55s,” he said.

“I was happy because I was feeling good behind him and every time someone was overtaking me, thanks to the engine I was able to get second again.

“For me, this was the perfect race as last week to have this control, [to] keep this energy to fight at the end of the race, maybe for victory.

“I was able to think more about the victory because when Fabio came with four laps to go, I was feeling pretty good and I think the tyres were not so bad to have the chance of victory.

Ducati: "Gamble" Zarco proving to be rider "we thought he was"

  Ducati: Ducati sporting director Paolo Ciabatti admits signing Johann Zarco in 2020 was a “gamble” as “nobody trusted him” following his miserable part-2019 MotoGP campaign with KTM. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing Zarco registered just one top 10 result in his stint with KTM as a factory rider in 2019, which ended after the Misano round when the marque elected to drop him with immediate effect after he'd already announced the termination of his two-year contract following the Austrian Grand Prix.

“But when he overtook Jorge he opened up a gap immediately.

“I wanted to overtake also, but Jorge was going a bit too fast and it was difficult to overtake him.”

a man riding a motorcycle on a track: Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing © Motorsport.com Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Johann Zarco, Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

development of the KTM RC16: Miguel Oliveira harder than Johann Zarco? .
© Motorsport Images Miguel Oliveira and Johann Zarco clashed in the 2019 season Pol Espargaro's move to Honda gives Miguel Oliveira the chance to join the works team at KTM. He becomes Brad Binder's teammate. Last season Oliveira won the Styrian Grand Prix and his home Grand Prix in Portimao with his Tech-3-KTM. Crew chief Paul Trevathan is curious to see whether Oliveira will take another step in the works team. © Motorsport Images Pol Espargaro "Miguel is a very intelligent man.

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