The satellite Ducati rider claimed a comfortable second in the 30-lap Sachsenring race last Sunday to move up to third in the championship standings after an expensive crash for factory Ducati counterpart Francesco Bagnaia early on.
A brave overtake of Aprilia’s Aleix Espargaro on Turn 11 down right on lap two proved to be “an important moment” for Zarco’s hopes on the podium, and he felt his hard wheel approach would give -allow him to finally overhaul medium-shod Fabio Quartararo in the lead.
But Zarco had nearly five seconds drifted into Quartararo via the checkered flag, where the former admitted extreme difficulty in the final laps as the 35 -degree heat penalty took its toll.
“Starting in third place was an advantage and I was focused on having a good start,” Zarco explained after the race.
“I know you need to have a good start to have a solid position.
“We knew Fabio and Pecco could have had a better speed, and from the first lap I could see they were faster and I was behind Aleix.
“I didn’t want to miss that opportunity, so I passed Aleix and it was an important moment in this race for this podium.
“And after the crash of Pecco, I was second behind Fabio, one second behind him, and I really did the best as possible to follow him and chase because I knew he was medium rear, I was the hard rear.
“So maybe I have an advantage. But after half a race, the grip on the side was tricky for me and Fabio was consistent.
“So, I’m losing time with him but trying to follow him I got so big an advantage to third place.
“And the last laps were like a nightmare, because it’s a bit hard to control the bike, physically and the heat is very demanding. But I can handle it well.”
Johann Zarco, Pramac Racing
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Zarco explained that he still had to “fight” the Ducati in the races, which made the German GP more physical for him.
“Right now, all the races are pretty hard because I can be fast in Ducati and not be too relaxed and enjoy every moment,” he added.
“I have to fight on the bike. I was fast enough but if I could get easier it would be better for all races.
“But maybe here staying on the left side, I was suffering with the left leg, I was suffering with the left shoulder.
“There was a moment where you lost strength and that made the situation worse.”