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Imagine you’re trying to qualify for a major MotoGP race. And imagine you make the field in a respectable 11th position. That would be good for most riders, but not Johann Zarco.


“I said on Thursday that it would be a shame on all people behind him,” Zarco tells Motorsports.com

“Him” is Valentino Rossi. The shame is because just 23 days ago, Rossi broke his leg in a training accident. How do you come back from that? You come out and qualify 3rd in the Aragon Grand Prix. Zarco calls Rossi a genius rider, but admits he’s angry at finishing behind an injured man…and so should everyone else who finished behind Rossi.

“I said on Thursday that it would be a shame on all people behind him,” said Zarco. “He is doing good things, and just before the start I say him respect, because for me, I am in better form [physically] than him and he is in front of me, so [it is] necessary to work on things.”

LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who came in 4th right behind Rossi and is recovering from his own injury (see related story Crutchlow injury), expressed his admiration in a more colorful way.

“I saw him this morning, it takes him more time to get up to speed, sure, but in qualifying he (expletive)  did a fantastic lap and all weekend he has been fast,” said Crutchlow. “There is going be a new craze and everyone will try to break their leg now so they could come back faster,” he joked.

Rider expresses shame for finishing behind a badly injured rival Micro Lazzari Getty images
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