Johann Zarco is still looking for victory in MotoGP: what if he suffered a French illness?

All series have an ending. We wish Johann Zarco that what began just over a month ago, at the French Grand Prix, lasts one more weekend. At Le Mans, the Pramac rider finished fifth. He finished fourth in Mugello two weeks later. Then third, in Catalonia. And finally second in Germany.

It is not necessary, therefore, to specify where we come from. Zarco continues to pursue his first victory. Both are a statistical anomaly, as no other rider he has more podiums (15) without ever having won. It is also strange if we only consider his career, his work and his talent.

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The Cannois sometimes went very close. In Le Mans, Valencia (2017), Argentina (2018) or even Catalonia (2021), the double world champion lost by a few hundredths. Vain attempts exist and are becoming more numerous. So much so that this purpose can no longer be just a coincidence.

We are trained to appreciate each other according to a result

But then, is Zarco simply creating a “psychological block”? “It is something that can existconfirms Thomas Sammut, a mental trainer who has worked with many great athletes in recent years. This is not to say that the athlete is not mentally strong. It just doesn’t follow the right pattern to go to the end of the performance. “

It is impossible, in fact, to question the endurance of the Frenchman, double Moto2 world champion and now number 3 in the MotoGP world after being expelled in 2019. “In France there is a big problememphasizes Thomas Sammut. We have an education and a culture that does not teach us to know ourselves or to flourish as individuals. We are trained to appreciate ourselves according to a result. At school we have a note. And we appreciate or depreciate depending on the outcome. “

Johann Zarco, Jack Miller and Fabio Quartararo on the podium of the German Grand Prix, June 19, 2022

Credit: Imago

If Zarco has not yet achieved his first victory, it may be simply because he is … Zarco. That is, a pilot apart, with an atypical race. He was not predestined to become one of the best pilots in the world and was never enrolled by the champion factories that are the Spanish or Italian schools, although he sometimes crossed the transalpine border, during his adolescence, to rub with the best. .

This observation is valid in all disciplines.adds the mental trainer. For 95% of high-level French athletes, the brakes that prevent them from releasing themselves completely are tied to our culture. We tend to underestimate ourselves because we grow from an idea that could be outlined in “I’m not doing well enough”. We come to tell ourselves that whatever we do, it will never be enough compared to others. You need to know how to do self-criticism without falling into negative excesses. This is really a kind of legacy. And it’s limiting. “

Quartararo escaped

Zarco himself will not say otherwise. Very rational and precise in his technical approach, the French pilot also fights mentally against himself. “I quickly tend to self-flagellate and say to myself, “What you’re doing isn’t good, it’s bad, it’s bad.”“, he relied on a documentary Canal +.

Quartararo, for example, never had this problem, while the issue of a psychological block also arose in 2019, after several races where he had run into Marc Márquez. He is of Italian origin, he competed in his first races in Tuscany before moving to Spain at the age of 13. “I’m French, but I speak Spanish better … and I think in Italian“He said a few years ago. And that changes everything.

I can give you another pretty explicit exampleadds Thomas Sammut. I worked with Patrick Vieira in Nice and asked him a very simple question. If France won the World Cup in 1998, was it because the vast majority of players no longer played in France? He replied in cash: ‘Of course’.

To break the glass ceiling, there is a solution: “On the one hand there is man formed by a whole environment in which he has always evolvedanalyzes the specialist. And on the other hand, the pilot who would like to act in a certain way. It is necessary to be able to identify its method of use in relation to performance. Once done, we can step out of the mold and realize that we are unique. And that there is only one very personal method that suits everyone. The idea is to find this method and duplicate it to infinity“A different series type.

Johann Zarco (Ducati Pramac) at the German Grand Prix

Credit: Getty Images

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