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Lewis Duncan

Zarco expected chance to win in wet MotoGP Argentina race

Zarco came from sixth on the grid to finish runner-up to Marco Bezzecchi in the rain-hit 25-lap grand prix at Rio Hondo, after passing poleman Alex Marquez for second on the last tour.

The Pramac Ducati rider had immense pace in the second half of the race to get himself into podium contention, but at one stage he was down in eighth and over eight seconds from the rostrum.

Zarco’s wet form had him believing he could fight for victory on Sunday, but struggled so much for grip in the first eight laps that he was “almost crashing”.

“The others have this advantage at the beginning of the race that they are able to use the grip of the tyre pretty well,” he said.

“But when the grip gets a little bit lower, I can make the difference. This came after half of the race.

“It’s a bit of a pity because I expected to have a chance to win in these conditions, but clearly the first half, the first eight laps, I couldn’t be much faster.

“I was sliding, almost crashing, and the others were fighting me too. So, it was kind of tough.

“Then it was good to see I could use my lines, my advantage, and fortunately we didn’t have one lap or less or else I couldn’t catch Alex.

“It was just the perfect timing. I tried to understand where the leader was, but I couldn’t see him. Bezzecchi has been amazing all weekend and he is doing a fantastic job.”

Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing (Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images)

This marked Zarco’s first podium appearance since the 2022 German GP, with the Frenchman adding: “I was seeing maybe three or four guys in front of me, but I was in eighth position and I was saying ‘I have to believe in this podium, but I don’t even see it’.

“So, I just got focused, tried to catch as many positions as possible and then it came.

“Overall, the last three laps it was just Alex and [Franco] Morbidelli and I had this extra push.

“I could make the difference, but for sure my tyres were getting quite used and from half race to the end I was asking a lot of the tyres, so my bike started to move around a lot.

“So, it was just perfect. It’s good to have this kind of result in Argentina and I will enjoy it because it’s been a long time since I could taste the podium.”

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