This Czech Republic Grand Prix delivered an incredible verdict at the end of a thrilling race. Brad Binder claimed his and KTM’s maiden victory in Premier Class, Morbidelli saved Yamaha’s day, and Johann Zarco took his first podium since joined Avintia Ducati.
An unusual race in the Czech Republic, unusual conditions [no fans] and one of the happiest podiums in the history of MotoGP. Johann Zarco achieved his first podium from Pole position, riding a Desmosedici 19 for the team of Avintia Ducati in Brno after a “Long Lap” penalty.
We report here Zarco’s words without any formatting.
Johann, pole position and the podium! Yesterday you said you would be happy with a top five. How are you with a top three?
Johann Zarco: “Even better (laughs)! I missed my start and I have to work on it because sometimes I have a good start and sometimes not. So I couldn’t get started very well and then I felt pretty good in the corners and ready to fight.”
“Then I got passed and it was not easy to iron them. I felt that Morbidelli was escaping and that I could have had the rhythm to follow him. The top 3 then created a small gap and Pol passed me. He was also quick but made small mistakes, like when he widened at the first corner.”
“I was inside, on my path, and when we touched each other I didn’t expect him to fall. A few laps later, I had a long lap, and I was surprised because I expected two drivers to pass me when I was doing my long lap.“OK, that can be good, try to catch up with Morbidelli.”
“It was difficult because in the last three laps the tire completely collapsed and I knew Rins is still fast at the end of the race. I would see a second, half a second, then I could hear it behind me on the last lap. I really tried to close the doors and it worked fine. So thanks to Ducati and thanks to the team. I’m really happy to give them the podium and we’ll see what we can do in Spielberg! “