Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: QUINN ROONEY / GETTY IMAGES ASIAPAC / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP 07:57, October 21, 2023On Saturday, at the Australian Grand Prix, Frenchman Johann Zarco took the first victory of his career in the premier class of motorcycling by dominating championship leader Francesco Bagnaia. Starting from fifth, the Frenchman drove a superb race and took the lead on the last lap.
Frenchman Johann Zarco (Ducati-Pramac) took the first win of his MotoGP career by winning Saturday's Australian GP ahead of championship leader Francesco Bagnaia (Ducati), while Jorge Martin (Ducati-Pramac) lost everything on the final lap and finished fifth. Starting from fifth, the Frenchman drove a superb race and took the lead on the last lap when his teammate was in trouble. He held off the reigning world champion until the end.
"The feeling is incredible"
Present in the premier class of motorcycling since 2017, Zarco, a two-time Moto2 world champion (2015, 2016), waited until the end of his seventh season and his 120th Grand Prix to finally snatch his first MotoGP victory. "The feeling is incredible. I had a good start and had to fight a lot. When I was behind Pecco (Bagnaia), I hung on to stay in touch. We saw that Jorge Martin was slowing down a lot and I tried to pass," he explained. "After so many races, to finally win gives me so many emotions... I'm still struggling to realise," added the Frenchman before taking the top step of the podium.
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Zarco's happiness, however, was unhappy for Martin, who started from pole position and dominated the entire race before collapsing on the final lap and losing valuable points in the race for the world title. The Spaniard, who is now 27 points behind Bagnaia in the championship, lost the very daring gamble he had attempted: the soft tyre he had decided to put on at the rear, unlike almost all his rivals who had put on a medium tyre, did not go the distance and he dropped five places on the last lap.
Italy's Fabio Di Giannantonio (Ducati-Gresini) also took his chance and finished third, taking the first podium of his MotoGP career. The other Frenchman, Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha), had a complicated race: starting in 16th position, he finally took an anonymous 14th place, a week after his podium in Indonesia (3rd).