New season, new team! French GP rider, Johann Zarco gears up for his third MotoGP season with the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team. After two years with Yamaha, we hope to see a smooth transition from Zarco as his index projections predict promising improvements. With three pole positions and three podium finishes last season, Zarco was in a tight battle with opponent Alex Rins for that 5th place in the championship. Can Zarco maintain his steep linear improvement with a new bike and team?
Below we have provided graphs tracking both his average speed index as well as his average consistency index over time. These graphs represent an annual average with all races combined for the past 5 years. If you are unfamiliar with our indexes, a rider’s speed index is calculated from sector times for every circuit of every race. A rider’s consistency index quantifies their ability to keep consistency sector times on a lap by lap basis. For both indexes, a smaller value = faster sector times with little variation (high consistency).
Johann Zarco raced with the Yamaha team for both years of analysis. Next year he will move to the Red Bull KTM Factory Team.
What do we hope to see from Johann Zarco in the 2019 season? Although Zarco’s team change may present unpredicted obstacles, the French rider is in a pivotal stage of his career to prove his ability to zero in on specific riding improvements and challenges. With a steep improvement rate for both consistency index and speed index, we hope Zarco eases into the season with a focus on harmony with the new bike and consistent times. Sector speeds will improve with time but may not have the largest impact on his riding in the long term. Fast sector times may put you in front, but without a mutual understanding between bike and rider, consistency throughout a season may be jeopardized.