JOHANN ZARCO ‘ FOR ME THE EXIT IS THE CRITICAL PART OF THE CORNER’
“SMOOTHER IS SAFER for me because I don’t like it when the bike moves too much. So it’s not really the way I want to ride, it’s just the way I ride, the way I feel good. I try to be clean with my lines and this helps me put the bike in the right direction.
“First I try to feel confident with the front tyre, then once I’ve got full confidence there, I start working on my drive out of the corner. I enjoy sliding the front tyre, when I don’t crash! If the tyre warns you and you keep pushing, then you will crash, but if you slow down a bit and take some load off the front, you’re still on the bike.
“For me the exit is the critical part of the corner – finding the best grip and getting good drive. This is the area where I sometimes struggle the most, also because the rear tyre is what changes the most on a bike during a race. You don’t have the same feeling all the way through the race, so you must adapt. When you brake, enter the corner and use your corner speed, it’s almost the same feeling with new or used tyres, but still I need to adapt quicker for the exit when the rear tyre drops.
“I use my body weight to lift the bike to find more grip, but sometimes by doing that you lean off too much which makes the bike unstable. The key is to pick up the bike quickly, but stay on it and use the weight of your body to keep the front tyre in contact with the ground.”
Adapting to the changing tyre performance over race distance is the challenge