Johann Zarco again impressed in LCR Honda IDEMITSU colours as free practice for the season-ending Valencia Grand Prix got underway on Friday. The Frenchman is making his third and final appearance as Takaaki Nakagami’s replacement and ensured he is well positioned ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying as he finished the day in tenth position.

Cool and breezy conditions at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo made life more difficult for the premier class riders. Zarco finished FP1 in 13th place, but his work on the set-up of his RC213V paid dividends as he improved by over a second in FP2 to claim a top-10 berth after switching to a soft tyre late on.

#5 Johann Zarco (10th – 1’31.369)

“I’m happy with the day, happy to finish in the top 10, that’s great. I was pretty happy at the end of the session with the soft tyre to make a huge step with the lap time, it really helps a lot to be in the top 10. It means that we did good work right from the morning. We tried to save the good tyres, but at the same time work on the bike to give me the possibility to control it better and ride with better feeling. It showed that work was good, because when we put on the soft rear tyre I immediately improved the lap time. It was positive, but I think we can go even faster.”