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Dou­ble Moto2 world cham­pion turned Mon­ster Yamaha Tech 3 rookie Jo­hann Zarco came away with more ma­jor scalps to his name af­ter he stormed to fourth place in Jerez.

Able to make a strong start and im­pres­sively dis­miss Crutchlow, Ian­none and the fac­tory Yama­has of Rossi and Viñales in the space of a sin­gle lap, the French­man barely looked back as he stormed through the field – even if he made no friends in the process with the se­ries of ag­gres­sive moves.

He said: “Fourth po­si­tion is fan­tas­tic and the feel­ing from the start was great, so when I saw an open­ing I went for it. I even tried to fol­low Dani for the lead, but he was fast and I al­most crashed twice, so when Marc didn’t wait and over­took me it was dif­fi­cult to stay with him any­more.”

Yet de­spite an in­cred­i­ble start to the sea­son that sees him sit­ting in sixth place in the cham­pi­onship stand­ings even though he crashed out of the lead of the open­ing race of 2017 in Qatar,

Zarco says that he’s still learn­ing plenty about Mo­togp ev­ery time he sits on the bike – and, wor­ry­ingly for his ri­vals, be­lieves he’ll only get stronger.

“The tar­get is to be as close as pos­si­ble to the podium and to even­tu­ally catch a few – and I thought for a long time dur­ing the race that I could be on the podium. I’m grow­ing up with ev­ery race, ev­ery­thing is OK, and I just need to learn to rest up prop­erly so that I can come back even stronger at ev­ery round.”

Zarco’s team-mate, Jonas Fol­ger, made it a dou­ble cel­e­bra­tion for the Tech3 team, fin­ish­ing eighth.

I tried to fol­low Dani for the lead, but he was fast and I al­most crashed JO­HANN ZARCO

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