Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Rider and MotoGP Newcomer Johann Zarco turned in quite the performance at the inaugural race at Qatar – a performance that’s earned him lavish praise.
You can never be sure what you’re going to get when you throw a MotoGP rookie into the den of wolves that is the grid. Sometimes they’ll soar, and sometimes they’ll be torn apart by the rest and sent back to lick their wounds. In the case of Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider Johann Zarco, his story was one of soaring highs – perhaps a little too close to the sun.
Zarco came out of the start at Qatar absolutely blazing. He quickly stole first and managed to hold it for a solid number of laps, defending his turf like a bat out of hell. For a moment, it seemed as if an amateur would best the rest and take the top place on the podium for himself. Sadly, that reality did not materialise as Zarco crashed out during a lean into turn 2, propelling him into the gravel and out of the race.
While Zarco is understandably upset at his mistake, other riders have heaped on lavish praise on the MotoGP rookie’s first outing. Yamaha’s legendary Valentino Rossi came out in support of the Frenchman’s strong performance, chalking his crash up to inexperience, not poor riding:
“[On Zarco’s performance] very, very, very strong. It was a mistake of inexperience in the conditions, but it was a great performance.
I was curious about his performance in MotoGP because Franco Morbidelli [Rossi’s protege] always said Zarco did something special in Moto2, and he will be fast in MotoGP.” – Valentino Rossi
Though Zarco has already come out hard on himself in the wake of the race, the budding MotoGP rider has nothing to be worried about. Qatar was merely the first race of the season, and if he keeps up that level of performance, he could emerge as quite the upstart.