Rookie Zarco buoyed by sizzling form

Johann Zarco is brimming with confidence following a fast start in Qatar then a superb fifth place finish at the Argentina leg of the MotoGP season.

The Frenchman is in his rookie season in top flight competition after winning the 2015 and 2016 Moto2 World Championship.

In his first outing in Qatar, Zarco stunned the field by hitting the front of the race and then pulling away, before eventually crashing out on the sixth lap. A more measured ride in Argentina saw him earn his first championship points with a fifth place finish, 15 seconds behind race winner Maverick Vinales.

"I surprised a lot of people but I surprised also myself!" the 26-year-old told crash.net.

"Even after analysing it, the situation is very positive. I don't plan to fight for the championship this year so to start in this way, leading the race, only for six laps. 

"But leading the race – has been positive for the confidence, for my mind. Knowing that it's possible and that I can do it. It just puts the motivation very high. Now I'm just hoping that I can have the same situation because I expect that I will manage it better."

After seeing that he can mix it with the best in the business, Zarco has set some lofty goals for his debut season.

"The main target is to be the rookie of the year," said the Cannes native.
 
"I need to be in the top ten to take this target. But after this first race, why not be in the top six?"

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